US Pat. No. 9,261,617

ROPE-TENSION SYSTEM FOR A MARINE SEISMIC CABLE

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A flexible section of an underwater seismic cable, comprising:
first and second termination units;
two or more ropes, each pivotably attached at one end to the first termination unit and at the other end to the second termination
unit;

a ring having a bore bounded by a bore wall surrounding a portion of the two or more ropes between the first and second termination
units;

wherein the ring has a single bore through which the two or more ropes pass; and
wherein the ring includes a bore wall bounding the bore and having a curvature of the ring providing a bend radius RB for the two or more ropes in the bore.

US Pat. No. 9,389,328

MARINE SEISMIC SURVEYING WITH TOWED COMPONENTS BELOW WATER'S SURFACE

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method of constructing a seismic spread having an arrangement of towed components to be neutrally buoyant in water when
towed in a seismic survey, the towed components at least including streamers and paravanes, the method comprising:
determining immersed weight and drag of the towed components;
calculating drag forces versus buoyancy required to neutrally buoy the towed components at at least one tow speed in the water
based on the determined weight and drag of the towed components;

configuring floatation for the seismic spread based on the calculated drag forces versus buoyancy; and
constructing the arrangement of the towed components in the seismic spread with the configured floatation.

US Pat. No. 9,294,011

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SENSING UNDERWATER SIGNALS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A transducer, comprising:
a cantilever coupled to a base, the cantilever comprising a beam and a first coupling surface angularly oriented from the
beam and defined by a forward end of the cantilever, and the base comprising a second coupling surface angularly oriented
from the beam and substantially parallel to the first coupling surface of the cantilever;

a sensing material coupled between the first coupling surface of the cantilever and the second coupling surface of the base;
and

a tine that couples the cantilever to the base, wherein the tine is configured to reduce the cross-axis sensitivity of the
transducer and to enhance sheer stress applied to the sensing material;

wherein one or both of the first or second coupling surfaces defines an acute or obtuse angle with respect to a longitudinal
axis of the beam.

US Pat. No. 9,152,745

MODEL PREDICTING FRACTURING OF SHALE

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method of predicting fractures in shale in an area of interest, the method comprising:
establishing one or more relationships between a geological parameter of shale with one or more of a geomechanical parameter
and a geophysical parameter of the shale;

obtaining observed data of the area of interest; and
producing a computerized model for modeling fracturing of shale in the area of interest by constraining a forward physics
model of the area of interest with the one or more relationships for consistency with the observed data.

US Pat. No. 9,448,313

INTEGRATED PASSIVE AND ACTIVE SEISMIC SURVEYING USING MULTIPLE ARRAYS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A seismic surveying method of a subsurface volume, the method comprising:
arranging arrays of sensors coupled to the subsurface volume on tubulars disposed in boreholes in a surface of the subsurface
volume;

collecting seismic data with the sensors;
detecting a first moveout in a first of the arrays by analyzing the collected seismic data in at least one direction for the
first array;

detecting one or more second moveouts in one or more second of the arrays by analyzing the collected seismic data in the at
least one direction for the one or more second arrays;

determining that the one or more second moveouts is comparable to the first moveout; and
declaring an occurrence of an event in the subsurface volume in response to the determination that the first and second moveouts
are comparable.

US Pat. No. 9,405,028

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MULTI-COMPONENT DATUMING

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method for geophysical exploration with multi-component seismic data, comprising:
accessing a plurality of seismic traces, the plurality of seismic traces including data representative of amplitude and spatial
gradient samples of a seismic wavefield at a plurality of seismic surveying system recording locations in a medium, wherein
at least some of the accessed seismic traces include a pressure trace recorded by a pressure sensor and a plurality of particle
motion traces recorded by a particle motion sensor;

initiating, using a computer-based processing unit, a wavefield propagation from the plurality of recording locations through
the medium using the amplitude and spatial gradient samples of the seismic wavefield; and

generating seismic traces corresponding to the propagated wavefield at defined locations within the medium;
wherein the data in the plurality of particle motion traces are representative of the spatial gradient samples of the seismic
wavefield at the plurality of recording locations in the medium and each generated seismic trace corresponds to one of the
defined locations within the medium, at one or more instances in time.

US Pat. No. 9,121,956

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DETERMINING A LOCATION TO ACQUIRE GEOPHYSICAL DATA

ION GEOPHYSICAL CORPORATI...

1. A method, comprising:
modeling acquisition of seismic data in a first location along a sail line from an acquisition plan, based on a first factor
that impacts acquisition of the seismic data in the first location;

generating a modeled attribute based on the modeling;
quantifying a first benefit of acquiring seismic data in the first location based on the modeled attribute;
determining whether to acquire the seismic data in the first location based on the modeled attribute and the first benefit;
acquiring seismic data in the first location along the sail line by emitting seismic waves from a source, wherein the seismic
waves reflect off a subsurface;

measuring the reflected seismic waves in a receiver; and
determining whether to alter the acquisition plan based on the modeling during acquisition of seismic data along the sail
line, before acquisition of the seismic data long the sail line is complete.

US Pat. No. 9,581,712

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR CONDUCTING RECONNAISSANCE MARINE SEISMIC SURVEYS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method of acquiring a marine seismic survey, comprising:
towing a plurality of streamers behind an acquisition vessel, the plurality of streamers defining a swath of streamers; and
towing an independent source by an independent source vessel above one or more of the plurality of towed streamers, wherein
the independent source vessel moves back and forth between a left side of a source navigation region and a right side of the
source navigation region so as to traverse at least a portion of the swath while advancing in a same general direction as
the acquisition vessel.

US Pat. No. 9,354,343

DECLINATION COMPENSATION FOR SEISMIC SURVEY

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A seismic survey method, comprising:
calibrating a declinometer on a vessel in an observed magnetic field of a survey area by compensating for atmospheric magnetic
variation in the observed magnetic field of the survey area and determining distortion in geomagnetic calibration measurements
of the observed magnetic field caused by soft iron effect of the vessel;

obtaining one or more seismic signals over a temporal period and over a spatial region with one or more seismic sensors in
a seismic survey of the survey area by towing at least one streamer having the one or more seismic sensors behind the vessel
in a traverse;

obtaining one or more local geomagnetic field measurements relative to the one or more seismic sensors, the one or more local
geomagnetic field measurements subject to variations in declination over the temporal period and over the spatial region;

measuring temporal and spatial declination parameters by obtaining vessel measurements, including position measurements and
geomagnetic field measurements, at the vessel using the calibrated declinometer and determining, from the vessel measurements,
the variations in the declination at the vessel over the temporal period and over the spatial region during the seismic survey;

compensating, in the determined variations, at least for the soft iron effect of the vessel by correcting for the determined
distortion in the geomagnetic field measurements obtained at the vessel;

correcting, over the temporal period and over the spatial region, the one or more local geomagnetic field measurements based
on the temporal and spatial declination parameters compensated at least for the soft iron effect; and

correlating, over the temporal period and over the spatial region, the one or more corrected geomagnetic field measurements
with the one or more seismic signals.

US Pat. No. 9,081,120

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR LOW-TENSION RETRIEVAL OF INSTRUMENTED MARINE CABLES

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. An instrumented-marine-cable-handling system comprising:
a first plurality of monolithic carriers disposed at spaced apart positions around an endless path, each of the monolithic
carriers having a contact face;

a first drive system advancing the plurality of carriers around the endless path;
a nonlinear retrieval path segment along which an instrumented marine cable having spaced apart rigid elements attached along
the length of the marine cable travels when being retrieved, wherein the rigid elements have aft ends and wherein the contact
faces are shaped to mate with the shape of the aft ends;

wherein the monolithic carriers have fixed-width slots extending radially into the monolithic carriers and through the contact
faces to admit the instrumented marine cable radially into the monolithic carriers;

wherein the contact faces of the advancing carriers engage and drive against the aft ends to pull the rigid elements of the
instrumented marine cable to draw the instrumented marine cable along the nonlinear retrieval path segment.

US Pat. No. 9,188,688

FLEXURAL WAVE ATTENUATION

ION Geophysical Corporati...

23. A non-transitory computer-readable medium having computer executable instructions stored thereon, that when executed using
a computer, perform a method for attenuating flexural wave information from seismic information, the method comprising:
receiving the seismic information using an information processing device interface, the seismic information having a plurality
of directional components acquired using a multi-axis motion sensor coupled to ice floating on a body of water, the seismic
information including desired seismic information and the flexural wave information;

generating a noise model of the flexural wave information using at least one of the plurality of seismic information directional
components using an information processing device;

improving the noise model using an iterative adaptive correction filter; and
applying the improved noise model to at least one directional component of the received seismic information to attenuate the
flexural wave information wave in the seismic information.

US Pat. No. 9,121,969

POWER SAVINGS MODE FOR OCEAN BOTTOM SEISMIC DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEMS

ION GEOPHYSICAL CORPORATI...

1. A method for marine seismic data collection, comprising:
operating an array of autonomous sensor nodes in an idle mode, wherein the idle mode is configured to conserve power consumption
by the sensor nodes;

determining whether seismic data is expected at one or more of the sensor nodes in the array based on proximity to a seismic
source boat configured to generate a signal to the sensor nodes, wherein the proximity is determined within a predefined distance
of the seismic source boat based on the signal received from the seismic source boat;

in response to determining that seismic data is expected, selectively operating the one or more sensor nodes in an active
mode; and

collecting the seismic data with the one or more sensor nodes while selectively operating in the active mode, wherein sensor
nodes within the predefined distance of the seismic source boat are operating in the active mode and other sensor nodes in
the array are operating in the idle mode.

US Pat. No. 9,589,471

MARINE THREAT MONITORING AND DEFENSE SYSTEM

ION Geophysical Corporati...

11. A marine threat monitoring method for a target marine structure, comprising:
monitoring with a computer system one or more marine obstacles in a vicinity of the target marine structure as the target
marine structure conducts a set operation in a body of water;

predicting with the computer system a threat to at least one of the target marine structure and the set operation from the
one or more marine obstacles by determining an attribute of the one or more marine obstacles of the threat and comparing the
determined attribute to a limitation of the at least one of the target marine structure and the set operation, the attribute
indicative of the threat that the one or marine obstacles pose to the at least one of the target marine structure and the
set operation;

planning with the computer system a plurality of response scenarios for responding to the predicted threat to the at least
one of the target marine structure and the set operation, the response scenarios being directed to removing the predicted
threat and permitting the target marine structure to continue conducting the set operation in the body of water unaltered;
and

presenting with the computer system the response scenarios to at least one user.

US Pat. No. 9,502,993

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SENSING SIGNALS

ION GEOPHYSICAL CORPORATI...

1. A method of forming a transducer comprising the acts of:
forming a structural bottom plate from a first sheet of metal material;
forming a structural top plate from a second sheet of metal material;
forming a middle portion comprising a mid-upper element and a central element, including the acts of:
forming the mid-upper element from a third sheet of material, the mid-upper element comprising a mid-upper frame, a mid-upper
mass, and a plurality of mid-upper attachment members coupling the mid-upper mass to the mid-upper frame;

forming the central element from a fourth sheet of material, the central element comprising a central frame and a central
mass;

coupling the mid-upper mass and the central mass together to form a combined mass; and
coupling the mid-upper frame and the central frame together to form a combined frame;
coupling the combined frame to the top plate such that a first capacitance is provided between the combined mass and the top
plate; and

coupling the combined frame to the bottom plate such that a second capacitance is provided between the combined mass and the
bottom plate.

US Pat. No. 9,482,774

VARIABLE TURN RADIUS FOR MARINE VESSELS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method for operating a marine vessel comprising: determining, via at least one processor, that an end of a first sail
line is approaching; and determining, via the at least one processor, a turn path from the end of the first sail line to a
beginning of a second sail line, wherein the turn path is dynamically determined based on at least one of current direction
and current magnitude; while traversing on a turn path, monitoring, via the at least one processor, one or more sensors to
determine whether sensor readings are within an acceptable limit; and if the sensor readings are not within acceptable limits,
adjusting, via the at least one processor, the previously determined turn path.

US Pat. No. 9,664,807

SEISMIC SENSOR

ION GEOPHYSICAL CORPORATI...

1. A seismic sensor cable system, comprising:
a cable;
a first sensor configured to measure motion of the cable, wherein the first sensor is coupled to one or more stress members
of the cable and decoupled from a skin of the cable to avoid acoustic energy from seismic waves being transferred thereto,
wherein measurement of the motion of the cable by the first sensor substantially excludes particle motion associated with
the seismic waves; and

a second sensor coupled to the skin of the cable and configured to measure the particle motion associated with the seismic
waves, wherein the particle motion is transferred to the second sensor via the skin of the cable, moving in phase thereto.

US Pat. No. 9,507,043

POWER SAVINGS MODE FOR OCEAN BOTTOM SEISMIC DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEMS

ION GEOPHYSICAL CORPORATI...

1. A method for marine seismic data collection, comprising:
operating an array of sensor nodes in an idle mode, wherein the idle mode is configured to conserve power consumption by the
sensor nodes;

determining whether seismic data is expected at one or more of the sensor nodes in the array based on proximity to a vessel
configured to generate a signal for communication with the sensor nodes, wherein the proximity is determined within a predefined
distance of the vessel based on the signal received from the vessel;

in response to determining that seismic data is expected, selectively operating the one or more sensor nodes in an active
mode; and

collecting the seismic data with the one or more sensor nodes while selectively operating in the active mode, wherein sensor
nodes within the predefined distance of the vessel are operating in the active mode and other sensor nodes in the array are
operating in the idle mode.

US Pat. No. 9,535,182

MARINE SEISMIC SURVEYING WITH TOWED COMPONENTS BELOW WATER SURFACE

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A marine surveying apparatus for a vessel having a pneumatic fluid source of pneumatic fluid, the apparatus comprising:
at least one towed component towed by the vessel and submerged below the surface of the water;
a set of floats submerged below the surface of the water and supporting the at least one towed component, the set of floats
including:

a first float in communication with the pneumatic fluid source of the vessel via a line, the first float having buoyancy controlled
with the pneumatic fluid of the vessel and actively controlling depth of the at least one towed component in the water; and

a second float having a body with a hollow and having a preconfigured buoyancy being configured with one or more buoyant inserts
and one or more neutral spacers disposed in the hollow.

US Pat. No. 9,604,701

MARINE SEISMIC SURVEYING IN ICY OR OBSTRUCTED WATERS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A marine seismic surveying apparatus for obstructed waters, the apparatus comprising:
a deployed device disposed at an end of a seismic streamer and towed below a surface of water;
at least one buoy extending from the end of the seismic streamer to a surface of the water;
at least one coupling connecting the at least one buoy to the end of the seismic streamer and being breakable due to tension
from the at least one buoy obstructed at the surface of the water; and

at least one receiver associated with the buoy and obtaining location information via the at least one buoy at the surface
of the water,

wherein the deployed device comprises an inertial navigation system reckoning location of the deployed device in the water
in place of the location information obtained with the at least one receiver.

US Pat. No. 9,817,144

SMART STREAMER RECOVERY DEVICE

ION GEOPHYSICAL CORPORATI...

1. A seismic streamer system comprising:
a recovery module configured for coupling to a seismic streamer deployed in a water column, the recovery module comprising:
an actuator coupled to a positive buoyancy element;
a controller configured to trigger the actuator to deploy the positive buoyancy element in response to a recovery condition
being met; and

an interface configured for receiving an external recovery signal indicating that the recovery condition is met;
a steering or depth control device coupled to the seismic streamer, the steering or depth control device configured to generate
the external recovery signal, wherein the interface is configured to receive the external control signal generated by the
steering or depth control device wirelessly via an inductive or capacitive signal, or a combination thereof;

wherein the positive buoyancy element is configured to raise at least a portion of the seismic streamer to a surface of the
water column, when the recovery condition is met.

US Pat. No. 9,720,120

SEISMIC DATA ACQUISITION WITH VARYING RELATIVE DISTANCE BETWEEN MULTIPLE SEISMIC VESSELS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method for acquiring seismic data, comprising:
operating a first seismic vessel towing at least one of:
a first seismic streamer comprising a first plurality of seismic sensors; and
a first source;
operating a second seismic vessel towing at least one of:
a second seismic streamer comprising a second plurality of seismic sensors; and
a second source; and
during acquisition of the seismic data, adjusting a distance between the first seismic vessel and the second seismic vessel
according to a first predefined function;

wherein the first seismic vessel and the second seismic vessel travel along a same predefined acquisition line; and
wherein adjusting the distance between the first seismic vessel and the second seismic vessel comprises cyclically increasing
and reducing the distance during the acquisition of the seismic data.

US Pat. No. 9,784,860

SEISMIC SYSTEM WITH GHOST AND MOTION REJECTION

Ion Geophysical Corporati...

1. An underwater autonomous node comprising:
a platform;
a first region of the platform having a first acoustic impedance equal to that of seawater;
a first motion sensor disposed in the first region and having a first test mass to produce a first response sensitive to seismic
waves and platform motion;

a second region of the platform separated from the first region and having a second acoustic impedance equal to that of air;
a second motion sensor disposed in the second region and having a second test mass to produce a second response sensitive
to platform motion and insensitive to seismic waves.

US Pat. No. 9,766,360

MARINE SEISMIC SURVEYING WITH TOWED COMPONENTS BELOW WATER'S SURFACE

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A marine seismic surveying apparatus for a vessel, the apparatus comprising:
a plurality of towed components obtaining seismic data, the towed components towed in a horizontal spread by the vessel and
submerged at first levels below the surface of the water;

at least one first transceiver disposed at the vessel, the at least one first transceiver emitting a first signal and detecting
first location information of the towed components in the horizontal spread with the first signal;

at least one second transceiver towed from the vessel and submerged at a second level below the surface of the water, the
at least one second transceiver emitting a second signal and detecting second location information of the towed components
with the second signal; and

a processor processing the first and second location information and producing location data of the towed components in the
horizontal spread for association with the seismic data obtained, the produced location data accounting for a non-planar network
of the towed components submerged at the first levels in the horizontal spread.

US Pat. No. 10,031,248

REAL-TIME INFILL IN MARINE SEISMIC SURVEYS USING AN INDEPENDENT SEISMIC SOURCE

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method of seismic data acquisition, comprising:acquiring primary seismic data at a plurality of streamers towed by an acquisition vessel based at least in part on energy emitted by a first seismic source;
towing an independent seismic source to acquire infill seismic data at the plurality of streamers based at least in part on energy emitted by the independent seismic source while the primary seismic data is still being acquired at the plurality of streamers based at least in part on the energy emitted by the first seismic source, wherein the independent seismic source is towed independently of the acquisition vessel;
determining areas in which infill seismic data is to be acquired based at least in part on a real-time analysis of the acquired primary seismic data; and
positioning the independent seismic source based at least in part on the determined areas and on measured feathering of the plurality of streamers.

US Pat. No. 9,703,809

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ANALYZING DATA IN SUBSEQUENT GEOPHYSICAL SURVEYS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method of processing geophysical data, the method comprising the acts of:
correlating a first set of the data from a monitor survey with a second set of the data from a baseline survey, wherein the
monitor survey occurs after the baseline survey;

generating an attribute value for each datum in the first set of data,
wherein the attribute value includes a repeatability metric that measures how geometrically close the first set of data from
the monitor survey is to the second set of data from the baseline survey, and

wherein the repeatability metric comprises differences in source and receiver positions for the baseline and monitor surveys,
each of which has radial, inline and crossline components, the repeatability metric comprising Dsrc+Drx, in which Dsrc is the difference in source positions between the baseline survey common midpoint (CMP) position and the monitor survey common
CMP at a time of firing a seismic source, and Drx is the difference in receiver positions between the baseline survey CMP and the monitor survey CMP at the time of firing the
seismic source;

associating each datum within the first set of data with the generated attribute value and at least one of a plurality of
bins defined in the baseline survey; and

outputting a value associated with each bin, based on the repeatability metric.

US Pat. No. 10,061,046

INTEGRATED PASSIVE AND ACTIVE SEISMIC SURVEYING USING MULTIPLE ARRAYS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A seismic surveying method of a deep subsurface volume based above the deep subsurface volume, the method comprising:arranging at least one first array of first sensors in a horizontal surface arrangement, the horizontal surface arrangement being disposed on a near-surface of the ground above the deep subsurface volume and being substantially parallel to the deep subsurface volume;
arranging at least one second array of second sensors in a vertical surface arrangement, the vertical surface arrangement being disposed in at least one shallow borehole disposed in the near-surface of the ground above the deep subsurface volume and extending short of the deep subsurface volume, the vertical surface arrangement being substantially perpendicular to the deep subsurface volume different from the horizontal arrangement;
imaging the deep subsurface volume by collecting first seismic data with the first sensors in response to first seismic energy, the first seismic data at least including compressional and shear velocity information passing from the deep subsurface volume to the horizontal surface arrangement;
imaging the near-surface volume as opposed to the deep subsurface volume by collecting second seismic data with the second sensors in response to second seismic energy, the second seismic data at least including compressional and shear velocity information passing through the near-surface to the vertical surface arrangement;
determining at least one near-surface property of the near-surface by generating a near-surface model of the near-surface from the collected second seismic data;
correcting the imaging of the deep subsurface volume from the collected first seismic data with the imaging of the near-surface volume from the collected second seismic data by constraining a first model of the deep subsurface volume derived from the first seismic data with the at least one determined near-surface property from the near-surface model of the near-surface derived from the second seismic data; and
determining at least one subsurface property of the deep subsurface volume from the combined seismic data so constrained.

US Pat. No. 10,032,381

MARINE THREAT MONITORING AND DEFENSE SYSTEM

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A marine threat monitoring method for a target marine structure, comprising:monitoring with a computer system one or more marine obstacles in a vicinity of the target marine structure as the target marine structure conducts a set operation in a body of water;
predicting with the computer system threat to at least one of the target marine structure and the set operation from the one or more marine obstacles by determining an attribute of the one or more marine obstacles of the threat and comparing the determined attribute to a limitation of the at least one of the target marine structure and the set operation, the attribute indicative of the threat that the one or marine obstacles pose to the at least one of the target marine structure and the set operation;
planning with the computer system a plurality of response scenarios for responding to the predicted threat to the at least one of the target marine structure and the set operation, the response scenarios being directed to removing the predicted threat and permitting the target marine structure to continue conducting the set operation in the body of water unaltered; and
presenting with the computer system the response scenarios to at least one user.

US Pat. No. 9,933,536

ARCTIC SEISMIC SURVEYING OPERATIONS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method of performing a marine seismic survey in icy waters, the method comprising:planning a survey track traversing a survey area based on initial ice conditions in the survey area having the icy waters;
deploying a seismic system into the water from a survey vessel at the survey area;
traversing the survey track with at least one escort vessel escorting the survey vessel;
obtaining seismic data along the survey track by towing the seismic system from the survey vessel under the surface of the icy water; and
monitoring the survey area along the survey track for actual ice conditions and handling the actual ice conditions along the survey track by—
monitoring feather of the seismic system towed by the survey vessel,
detecting an ice obstruction along the survey track ahead of the survey vessel at least using the at least one escort vessel, and
turning the survey vessel away from the detected ice obstruction based on the monitored feather.

US Pat. No. 10,071,791

COMPARATIVE ICE DRIFT AND TOW MODEL ANALYSIS FOR TARGET MARINE STRUCTURE

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A marine threat modelling method for a target marine structure conducting a set operation in a body of water, the method comprising:monitoring with a computer system a given position of an obstacle drifting relative to the target marine structure;
modeling with the computer system at least two different tow routes actively diverting the same obstacle over time from the given position to at least two different tow positions relative to the target marine structure by using at least two different tow models for calculating an active diversion of the same obstacle in each of the at least two different tow routes;
modelling with the computer system one or more altered drift tracks of the obstacle for each of the active diversions by using one or more drift models for calculating a passive drift of the obstacle over time form the at least two different tow positions of each of the active diversions;
presenting with the computer system the at least two different tow routes and the one or more altered drift tracks for each of the active diversions for comparison to one another; and
initiating with the computer system based on the comparison a tow operation to actively divert the obstacle.

US Pat. No. 10,073,184

SENSOR SYSTEM OF BURIED SEISMIC ARRAY

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A seismic surveying method of a subsurface volume, the method comprising:disposing at least one seismic sensor of a system downhole, the at least one seismic sensor having a downhole amplifier with a downhole gain to directly amplify an input analog signal generated at the at least one sensor;
generating the input analog signal with the at least one sensor in response to seismic energy from the subsurface volume;
amplifying the input analog signal directly at the at least one sensor by the downhole gain of the downhole amplifier;
sending the amplified analog signal to an uphole recording unit of the system via a transmission line, the uphole recording unit having an uphole amplifier with an uphole gain to directly amplify the amplified analog signal received at the uphole recording unit;
amplifying the amplified analog signal directly at the uphole recording unit by the uphole gain of the uphole amplifier; and
reducing an overall effect of noise in the system by selecting the downhole gain of the downhole amplifier and the uphole gain of the uphole amplifier to be balanced with respect to one another.

US Pat. No. 10,024,990

TOWED SEISMIC NODE

ION GEOPHYSICAL CORPORATI...

1. A seismic apparatus comprising:a rope deployable in a water column and configured to be towed;
one or more seismic nodes coupled to the rope, each of the seismic nodes comprising at least one seismic sensor configured for sampling seismic energy in the water column; and
one or more tether members coupling the seismic nodes to the rope;
wherein each of the seismic nodes is disposed in a hydrodynamic body providing horizontal and vertical profiles adapted to preferentially capture acoustic or seismic energy propagating in a vertical direction with respect to acoustic or seismic energy propagating in a horizontal direction.

US Pat. No. 10,005,523

UNMANNED MARINE VESSEL FOR NODE DEPLOYMENT AND RETRIEVAL

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. An unmanned seismic vessel system comprising:a hull system configured to provide buoyancy;
a storage apparatus configured for storing one or more seismic nodes, each seismic node having at least one seismic sensor configured to acquire seismic data;
a deployment system configured for deploying the seismic nodes from the storage apparatus to a water column, wherein the seismic data are responsive to a seismic wavefield;
a controller configured to operate the deployment system, wherein the seismic nodes are automatically deployed in a seismic array; and
one or more tow lugs coupled to the hull system, wherein the hull system is configured for towing through the water column during deployment of the seismic nodes and acquisition of the seismic data.

US Pat. No. 9,903,968

NOISE REMOVAL IN NON-UNIFORMLY SPACED SEISMIC RECEIVER ARRAYS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method of seismic data acquisition, comprising:
positioning a plurality of seismic receivers in an array having a plurality of regions, each region in the array having a
respective average spacing between seismic receivers, with the average spacing in a second region of the plurality of regions
being greater than the average spacing in a first region of the plurality of regions that is adjacent to the second region;

acquiring seismic data utilizing the plurality of seismic receivers;
transforming the acquired seismic data into a surface phase velocity domain using a beam forming operation;
identifying noise in the acquired seismic data based at least in part on surface phase velocities observed in the acquired
seismic data once transformed into the surface phase velocity domain; and

removing the noise identified in the acquired seismic data once transformed into the surface phase velocity domain.

US Pat. No. 9,841,519

SEISMIC SENSOR DEVICES, SYSTEMS, AND METHODS INCLUDING NOISE FILTERING

ION GEOPHYSICAL CORPORATI...

1. A system for sensing acoustic waves in a medium, comprising:
a first elongated member;
a first motion sensor sensitive to vibrations of the first elongated member;
a second motion sensor spaced apart from the first motion sensor and also sensitive to vibrations of the first elongated member;
a first vibration source operably coupled to the first elongated member and configured to vibrate the first elongated member;
and

a processing device operably coupled to the first motion sensor and the second motion sensor, the processing device configured
to:

calculate a transfer function at least partially based on information received from the first motion sensor and the second
motion sensor while the vibration source vibrates the first elongated member,

receive unfiltered acoustic wave signals from the motion sensors, wherein the unfiltered acoustic wave signals include non-acoustic
noise;

calculate a filtered acoustic wave signal based at least in part on the calculated transfer function, wherein the unfiltered
acoustic wave signals are processed to reduce the non-acoustic noise and modified to produce the filtered acoustic wave signal,
which represents the acoustic waves.

US Pat. No. 10,191,171

VARIABLE BUOYANCY CONTROL AND RECOVERY SYSTEM FOR SEISMIC DATA ACQUISITION

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. An apparatus comprising:a seismic cable system configured to acquire seismic data, the seismic cable system having a cable jacket;
a reservoir for ballast fluid;
a transfer mechanism configured to transfer the ballast fluid between the reservoir and the seismic cable system during acquisition of the seismic data, wherein the ballast fluid is transferred to the seismic cable system within the cable jacket;
a controller configured to adjust a buoyancy of the seismic cable system responsive to the transfer of the ballast fluid;
a modular housing disposed about the reservoir and the fluid transfer mechanism, wherein the modular housing is configured for mounting coaxially along the seismic cable system, wherein the modular housing is configured for coupling about the outer jacket of the seismic cable system; and
a port configured for transferring the ballast fluid from the reservoir through an outer diameter of the cable jacket.

US Pat. No. 10,191,169

DISTRIBUTED SEISMIC NODE COMPUTING

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A seismic survey method comprising:acquiring seismic sensor data with an array of seismic receivers deployed in a survey area, each seismic receiver comprising a seismic sensor for acquiring the seismic sensor data, a clock, a local controller and local memory, wherein the seismic sensor data characterize a seismic wavefield proximate the respective seismic receivers in the survey area;
associating the seismic sensor data with timing information from the respective clocks;
generating quality control data for the seismic sensor data acquired by each seismic receiver, the quality control data generated by the local controllers on each seismic receiver based on the respective seismic sensor data and associated timing information; and
generating a seismic data flow for recording in the local memory of each of the seismic receivers, each seismic data flow comprising the quality control data generated by the respective local controller, the seismic sensor data and the associated timing information.

US Pat. No. 10,228,479

DYNAMIC GAIN ADJUSTMENTS IN SEISMIC SURVEYS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method for acquiring a seismic survey, comprising:determining an arrival time at a seismic receiver of a downgoing seismic wavefield associated with a seismic source based at least in part on an estimated position of the seismic source, an estimated position of the seismic receiver, or combinations thereof; and
adjusting a gain of the seismic receiver based at least in part on the determined arrival time of the downgoing seismic wavefield, wherein adjusting the gain comprises:
decreasing the gain relative to a first gain level at a time before the determined arrival time of the downgoing seismic wavefield; and
increasing the gain to a second gain level following the arrival of the downgoing seismic wavefield, the second gain level being higher than the first gain level.

US Pat. No. 10,310,121

SEISMIC SENSOR DEVICES, SYSTEMS, AND METHODS INCLUDING NOISE FILTERING

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method of sensing acoustic waves in a medium, the method comprising:receiving readings from a first motion sensor and a second motion sensor coupled to a streamer, wherein the streamer comprises an elongated cable member disposed in the medium and the acoustic waves reflect from structures underlying the medium;
receiving readings comprising unfiltered acoustic wave signals from a third motion sensor coupled to the streamer between the first motion sensor and the second motion sensor; and
filtering noise from the readings received from the third motion sensor to generate a set of filtered data, wherein said filtering noise includes determining first and second transfer functions corresponding to the streamer; and
modifying the readings received from the first motion sensor using the first transfer function to generate a first set of modified readings;
modifying the readings received from the second motion sensor using the second transfer function to generate a second set of modified readings; and
modifying the readings received from the third motion sensor using the first and second sets of modified readings to generate the set of filtered data;
wherein the unfiltered acoustic wave signals are processed to reduce non-acoustic noise and modified to produce the filtered acoustic wave signal, which represents the acoustic waves propagating through the medium; and
producing readings of the acoustic waves related to the underlying structures, and identifying or mapping the structures thereby.

US Pat. No. 10,345,463

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR USING KNOWN SOURCE EVENTS IN SEISMIC DATA PROCESSING

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method, comprising:activating one or more perforation shots, each perforation shot resulting in one or more seismic events;
receiving a picked arrival time corresponding to a seismic event of the one or more seismic events;
deriving a calculated travel time for a proposed location corresponding to the seismic event from a velocity model;
determining a relative location for each of a plurality of known source events associated with the one or more perforation shots with respect to a respective seismic event;
selecting a subset of known source events from the plurality of known source events based at least in part on the determined relative locations for each of the plurality of known source events;
receiving a plurality of picked arrival times and a plurality of calculated travel times corresponding to the subset of known source events;
determining an estimated location of the seismic event based at least in part on reducing a difference between:
relative differences between the picked arrival time corresponding to the seismic event and the plurality of picked arrival times corresponding to the subset of known source events; and
relative differences between the calculated travel time corresponding to the proposed location of the seismic event and the plurality of calculated travel times corresponding to the subset of known source events; and
adjusting a location of one or more subsequent perforation shots based at least in part on the determined estimated location.

US Pat. No. 10,310,119

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SEISMIC NOISE REDUCTION

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method for reducing noise in geophysical data processing and imaging of acquired seismic data, the method comprising:accessing seismic data representative of a plurality of seismic input traces acquired by one or more seismic sensors, wherein each of the plurality of seismic input traces is recorded at a seismic sensor;
stacking the plurality of seismic input traces into a stacked trace;
generating, utilizing at least one processor unit, a function of similarity between at least two of the plurality of seismic input traces, wherein the function of similarity comprises a plurality of respective measurements of similarity generated from a plurality of covariance matrices measuring the similarity of the seismic input traces over a respective plurality of sample windows;
calculating the similarity between the respective plurality of sample windows in the at least two of the plurality of seismic input traces and corresponding sample windows in the stacked trace, wherein the sample windows are selected to differentiate noise from signal in the seismic data;
scaling at least one of the seismic input traces or the stacked trace with the function of similarity, wherein scaling with the function of similarity reduces the noise;
applying an imaging condition to the scaled stacked trace or input traces to generate image data representing a portion of the Earth's subsurface; and
displaying the image data representing a portion of the Earth's subsurface on a display device coupled to the processor unit.

US Pat. No. 10,254,423

UNMANNED MARINE VESSEL FOR SEISMIC SOURCES

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. An unmanned vessel system comprising:a hull system configured to provide buoyancy in a water column;
one or more seismic sources configured to generate seismic energy;
a deployment apparatus configured to deploy the one or more seismic sources from the hull system to the water column;
a tow line coupled to the hull system, the tow line configured for towing the unmanned vessel system behind a tow vessel absent pneumatic or compressed air coupling therebetween; and
a control system configured to operate the deployment apparatus to deploy the one or more seismic sources, wherein the seismic energy propagates through the water column.

US Pat. No. 10,274,627

OCEAN BOTTOM SEISMIC SYSTEMS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. An ocean bottom seismic sensor system comprising:an external housing configured for deployment within a seismic medium on a sea floor;
a sensor housing disposed within the external housing and configured for communication with the seismic medium;
an acoustic medium disposed within the sensor housing, the acoustic medium selected based on an acoustic impedance of the seismic medium; and
a seismic sensor suspended within the acoustic medium and substantially isolated from motion of the sensor housing, wherein
the sensor housing is configured to dissipate shear wave energy incident from the sea floor; and
the acoustic medium transmits pressure wave energy from the seismic medium to the seismic sensor.

US Pat. No. 10,286,981

MARINE SEISMIC SURVEYING IN ICY OR OBSTRUCTED WATERS

ION GEOPHYSICAL CORPORATI...

1. A method of marine seismic surveying in obstructed water, the method comprising:initially deploying a marine seismic survey system into the water from a vessel by letting a portion of at least one cable for the marine seismic survey system deployed from the vessel to the water extend exposed between the vessel and the water;
subsequently protecting passage of the exposed portion of the at least one cable of the marine seismic survey system from the vessel to below a surface of the water by bringing the exposed portion of the at least one cable into at least one open trailing edge of a protective device extending from the vessel to below a water line of the vessel; and
operating the marine seismic survey system in a seismic survey by towing the marine seismic survey system below the surface of the water with the protective device.

US Pat. No. 10,328,997

SUBSURFACE SEISMIC DEPLOYMENT SYSTEM AND METHOD

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A seismic receiver deployment system comprising:a deployment apparatus having a hydrodynamic body;
a tow line configured for a tow vessel towing the hydrodynamic body through a water column; and
a carrier line engaged with the deployment apparatus, the carrier line having a plurality of seismic sensors coupled therealong for deployment from the tow vessel;
wherein the deployment apparatus is configured to control tension in the carrier line for deployment of the seismic sensors from the tow vessel to a bottom surface of the water column by way of the carrier line, while the hydrodynamic body is towed through the water column by the tow line.

US Pat. No. 10,317,250

DIRECT COUPLING OF A CAPACITIVE SENSOR TO A DELTA-SIGMA CONVERTER

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. An apparatus, comprising:a sensor configured to generate charge in proportion to a sensed quantity;
a charge coupling circuit configured to transfer at least a portion of the charge generated by the sensor to an integrating circuit;
a first charge feedback circuit configured to feed back charge to the sensor;
a second charge feedback circuit configured to feed back charge to the integrating circuit, the integrating circuit being configured to accumulate charge in proportion to a difference between the charge transferred from the sensor to the integrating circuit by the charge coupling circuit and the charge fed back to the integrating circuit by the second charge feedback circuit;
a comparing circuit configured to detect accumulated charge at the integrating circuit for a current cycle to determine a polarity of charge feedback for a subsequent cycle; and
a logic circuit configured to provide at least one of a digital output corresponding to the sensed quantity and the polarity of charge feedback determined by the comparing circuit to the first charge feedback circuit for controlling the charge fed back to the sensor and also to the second charge feedback circuit for controlling the charge fed back to the integrating circuit.

US Pat. No. 10,379,240

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR GEOPHYSICAL SURVEYS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method of geophysical exploration by propagating seismic waves, the method comprising:matching a first set of data from a monitor survey with a second set of data from a baseline survey, the monitor survey occurring after the baseline survey, wherein the first and second sets of data comprise common mid-point positions (CMPs) between seismic sources controlling emission of seismic energy and seismic receivers monitoring response to the seismic sources, wherein the sources are configured to emit seismic energy that is reflected from the earth and the receivers are configured to receive the reflected seismic energy by the propagating seismic waves;
comparing matched pairs of the CMPs to generate an attribute value for each datum in the first set, wherein the attribute value comprises a repeatability metric Dsrc+Drx, wherein Dsrc is a difference in source positions between the baseline survey CMP and the monitor survey CMP, and Drx is a difference in receiver positions between the baseline survey CMP and the monitor survey CMP;
storing each attribute value with each of said datum, wherein each matched CMP from the monitor survey is binned together with its attribute value;
processing the first set of data based on the stored attribute values, wherein the repeatability metric is used as a filter such that CMPs with attribute values within a specified parameter range remain in the binned data; and
generating a visual representation of the binned data, wherein generating the visual representation comprises computing a difference between each datum in the first set with a correlated datum from the second set such that the processed data are responsive to composition of the earth proximate locations from which the seismic energy was reflected, and wherein the difference represents a depletion in petrochemical content in a reservoir, oil or gas removed from the reservoir, oil or gas that remains in the reservoir, or oil or gas that has moved within the reservoir over a period of time since the baseline survey.

US Pat. No. 10,339,478

SIMULTANEOUS OPERATIONS COORDINATION AND PLANNING SYSTEM

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A method of improving a process of at least one of exploration, drilling, and production of hydrocarbon conducted by a plurality of dissimilar marine operators performing dissimilar operations in a same marine field, the method comprising:obtaining, with communication equipment of a network system from networked devices distributed among the dissimilar marine operators, operational information associated with the dissimilar operations conducted by the dissimilar marine operators in the same marine field;
structuring, with processing equipment of the network system, the obtained operational information;
determining, automatically with decision-making processing of the processing equipment of the network system, associations between the structured operational information for the dissimilar marine operators, the associations including linkages between compatible ones of the dissimilar operations and including conflicts between incompatible ones of the dissimilar operations; and
coordinating the dissimilar operations across the dissimilar marine operators distributed in the marine field to improve the process of the at least one of exploration, drilling, and production by sharing, with the communication equipment of the network system to the networked devices distributed among the dissimilar marine operators, the determined associations with the dissimilar marine operators.

US Pat. No. 10,371,845

ACOUSTIC RANGING APPARATUS AND METHODS

ION Geophysical Corporati...

1. A system comprising:a seismic array comprising:
a plurality of streamers;
a plurality of acoustic receivers disposed along the plurality of streamers, each of the plurality of acoustic receivers configured to receive a subset of acoustic signals based on a respective predefined limited range; and
a plurality of acoustic transmitters disposed along one or more of the plurality of streamers, wherein each of the plurality of acoustic transmitters is configured to generate a respective ranging pulse on a respective one of the acoustic signals over a respective channel of a plurality of channels; and
a processor configured to define the respective predefined limited range for each of the plurality of acoustic receivers, wherein a respective subset of the plurality of acoustic transmitters is defined within the respective predefined limited range thereof, and wherein each acoustic transmitter of the respective subset of the plurality of acoustic transmitters is configured to generate the respective ranging pulse on the respective one of the acoustic signals over a different one of the plurality of channels;
wherein, during an acoustic ranging cycle of the seismic array, the plurality of acoustic transmitters are all configured to initiate generation of the respective ranging pulse on the respective one of the acoustic signals at a same time such that propagation of the ranging pulse on each of the acoustic signals associated with the seismic array are substantially simultaneous and all of the plurality of acoustic receivers are configured to initiate detection of the ranging pulse on at least one of the acoustic signals provided from the respective subset of the plurality of acoustic transmitters for a time window defined by the respective pre-defined limited range, wherein a cycle time of the acoustic ranging cycle of the seismic array starts with initiation of generation of the respective ranging pulse on the respective one of the acoustic signals by the plurality of acoustic transmitters at the same time and ends upon expiration of the time window of a longest of the respective pre-defined limited ranges.

US Pat. No. 10,408,959

MARINE SEISMIC SURVEYING WITH TOWED COMPONENTS BELOW WATER'S SURFACE

ION GEOPHYSICAL CORPORATI...

1. A marine surveying vessel for towing seismic equipment with one or more cables, the vessel comprising:at least one skeg mounted on the vessel and extending at least below a waterline of the vessel;
at least one shuttle movable along the at least one skeg; and
at least one tow point disposed on the at least one shuttle and movable along the at least one skeg therewith, the at least one tow point supporting at least one of the one or more cables below the surface of the water.