The PASSCAL Instrument Center Launches New Web Site

The IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center (PIC) launched a new web site having all of the equipment and procedural documentation contained in its former web site, and much more! It has eight major sections - Home, Experiments, Global PASSCAL, Polar, Schedule, USArray, Forms & Widgets, and Reference - and is visually appealing and chock full of items like recent news postings, earthquake reports, and news from IRIS.

The Global PASSCAL area contains reams of information relevant to anyone interested in the mission of the PASSCAL Instrument Center, including employment opportunities, PIC news, a staff directory, visitor information, training procedures, inventory lists and shipping information. In addition, this section has a repository of the latest official policy documents pertaining to instrument use field support, and archiving data.

The Reference section has information on PASSCAL's sensors, data acquisition systems, data archiving procedures, software, and shipping. It also includes a Frequently Asked Questions page; a list of Bug Reports; documents on broadband vault construction; a checklist for field deployments; guidelines for station siting, installation and servicing; a "How To" series with descriptions of equipment usage and procedures; numerous "Quick Start" summaries for more experienced investigators; and a Software area with downloads and manuals of the latest seismological applications being used at the PIC.

In the Forms & Widgets area, all of the forms used at PASSCAL, such as Mobilization/Demobilization, Bug Reports, Experiment and Data Evaluations, Instrument Use Rebilling, and Training Requests, can be found in one convenient location. Data archiving flow charts that dynamically link to the relevant portions of the documentation are also located in this section. A new feature, an online Shipping Calculator, provides estimates of instrument shipping costs and is a useful tool for scientists who are planning experiments.

Special procedures and equipment for polar projects, along with documentation of past and ongoing Arctic and Antarctic programs, are described in the Polar section. The USArray page is devoted mostly to the Transportable Array and Flexible Array programs, which are supported by the PASSCAL Instrument Center.

Two important sections of the new web site are still under development. The Experiments section will be an area where Principal Investigators are encouraged to post updates and photo galleries related to their experiments. There will also be forums to facilitate discussions of useful procedures and techniques.

When completed, Principal Investigators and other interested parties will be able to dynamically inspect the PASSCAL Experiment Schedule in the Schedule area. Users will be able to specify time ranges; equipment types; and select specific institutions, funders, or geographical areas to limit their searches. Principal Investigators will also have the ability to formally request the use of PASSCAL equipment.

For the last several months, the entire PIC staff has worked diligently to develop this dynamic new web site with the help of Matt Toigo of IRIS. Please drop in for a visit at