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A.G.P.S. (A Good Place for Seismic)
The operational problems associated with acquiring seismic data in offshore frontier areas of S.E. Asia can usually be evaluated in terms of logistics, practicality and security. Navigation, the most important aspect of marine seismic acquisition, presents a unique challenge in terms of these three variables. The geographical and geometrical restrictions of shore-based navigation systems limit their use especially in frontier areas of S.E. Asia. such as Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia. The logistical difficulties of supporting a navigation chain especially in areas where security is a problem can not only cause operational delays, but prolonged interference can also escalate acquisition costs. As an alternative to standard shore-based navigation systems, satellite navigation systems, in particular the Global Positioning System (GPS), are discussed. Developed by the U.S. Department of Defense for military use, GPS has developed into a reliable navigation system. A brief introduction to satellite navigation including GPS is followed by two examples of seismic surveys recently acquired using only GPS as a navigation system. The reasons for selecting GPS as the primary and secondary navigation system in the first example, offshore Myanmar, were related to security and logistics. In the second example, offshore Cambodia, the geographic and geometric problems prompted the use of GPS. Both surveys were successfully acquired even though GPS was not fully operational.
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