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FAQ - Scorpion™

FAQ - Scorpion™


1. At what voltage does the downhole part of the sparker operate? 

  • The downhole unit operates around 4kv.

2. What are the power outputs of the LOW, MED, and HIGH power settings?

  • The Scorpion stores far less than energy most comparable units for a given acoustic energy generated, because of the higher acoustic efficiency – we store about 250 J on HIGH, 214 J on MED, and 180 J on LOW typically, plus or minus, depending on unit calibration – peak electrical power delivered to the arc gap is much higher than competing units (about 10 MW), because of our unique discharge system, and that allows for a much higher acoustic peak pressure output relative to energy stored, which also helps with power usage, electrode life, etc.

3. What is the width of the generated acoustic pulse

  • Typically about 60 – 80 µsec.

4. Is there a measurable EM component to the spark signal?

  • Yes, but most of the significant EM is contained within the lower unit, with the exterior aluminum housing acting as a Faraday cage. While there is a significant electric current and magnetic field generated in the near vicinity of the electrode during a discharge, the monopole nature, combined with the overall neutral “antenna” nature results in very little radiated EM at any significant distance (more than a couple of meters).

5. Does the bubble collapse provide a secondary signal?

  • It does in an open water environment.  In a 3” borehole, the Scorpion will be close to or against the sidewall of the pipe and break the bubble formed, thus a secondary signal will not be produced.  In larger boreholes, the acoustic collapse signal may be retained, and provides additional amplitude at a delay of about 3 to 5 milliseconds, depending on the depth of the unit.

6. How many watts or amps to charge the source?

  • The system runs on 72 watts (12VDC @ 6A).

7. Does the Scorpion™ require the addition of a conductive fluid to operate? 

  • The unit does not require the addition of conductive fluid or salt to operate.  The borehole that the unit is operated in does need to be water filled.  The water in the borehole can be saltwater or freshwater and will not affect the performance of the unit.

8. What is the frequency spectrum of the output?

  • The Scorpion produces a broadband signal. The PSD below shows the frequency spectrum of the signal in a free-water environment.  The frequency response of the source does not change from a free-water environment to a borehole, but the effective radiated signal changes due to the near-field reflectors in the borehole.  The radiated signature is therefore dependent on the borehole dimensions, wall thickness, grout, etc. The spectrum provided is consistent with the signal as generated.



  • The acoustic pressure profile is shown below.  The first peak is the initial impulse of the sparker and the second peak is the bubble collapse.