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Subject: RE: The Stephenson Probe, a novel sensor :
From: "Ron Westfall" westfall@........
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 11:33:55 -0700


When I read the Stephenson probe description at the NZ web site, I get
a strong impression that the novelty is in the small size of the sensor
rather than the installation method.

If you look through some of the publications on the site and search
elsewhere on the net, the main technique in penetrometry appears to
be the Cone Penetration Test (CPT).  You will also find that the CPT
has an extensive history.  I found one mention of doing CPTs during
Apollo mission EVAs.  Presumably they were on the moon at the time. :-)

If you look at the picture on the web page, Bill Stephenson is holding
a very small device in his right hand and the complete package in his
left hand.  Without accurate dimensions, I'm guessing that the overall
package is more narrow than a traditional triaxial geophone sensor.
Like Casey, I am curious as to the technology used in the sensor to
reduce the size and, as claimed, the cost.  The device in Bill's right
hand might almost be a chip, so I wonder if he is using a chip similar
to the ADXL05 or its kin?

Unfortunately the web site has no description of the sensor technology.
I checked the NZ and US Patent Office to see if it had been patented,
but I couldn't find anything.  If anybody else finds anything, please
pass it along.



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Larry Cochrane <cochrane@..............>