REF TEK was founded in 1975 to produce quality, niche products for the land, marine and oil exploration markets. In 1981, REF TEK supplied a digital telemetry system to the University of California, San Diego for use in the ANZA area. This network was the first digital telemetry system in the U.S.A. and is successfully operating to this day.
IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology), a consortium of more than 110 U.S.A. universities, was formed in 1984. IRIS focused on two research arenas: the Global Seismological Network (GSN) and the Program for Array Seismic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere (PASSCAL). One of the prime goals of PASSCAL was to procure a large pool of portable instruments to record reflection and refraction and passive broadband data for elucidation of the crust down to the mantle. Specifications were issued in a competitive bid, and the REF TEK approach was chosen. REF TEK has delivered more than 1000 digital acquisition stations to IRIS under this award.
In 1991, REF TEK adapted a Hewlett-Packard 24-bit digitizer to provide a high resolution digitizing and recording system for the International Deployment of Accelerometers (IDA) of the University of California, San Diego. IDA is now part of the IRIS/GSN program. Approximately 30% of all GSN stations use instruments supplied by REF TEK.
Since our inception, REF TEK has continued to research and expand our products and capabilities to meet the changing needs of the seismological community. All seismic instruments sold now have 24-bit resolution capability and GPS timing.
A radically new data logger design is the product of the advancements in gate arrays which allow the use of real-time operating systems and communications software able to use the Internet as well as updated microcomputer architecture.
Power is always a critical issue for any seismological application. The 3rd Generation Broadband Seismic Recorder, model 130S-01, utilizes new power logic and is the industry leader in low power consumption. With the development of the model 130S-01 with lower power consumption, lighter weight and smaller size, REF TEK has again surpassed our own standard. See the product section for more information on the advancements of the model 130S-01.
In 2012 Trimble Navigation Limited acquired the assets of REF TEK to extend its scientific research and structural monitoring solutions. REF TEK is now a division of Trimble.
The integration of the core, market leading technologies – GNSS for Trimble and seismic data loggers for REF TEK has made it possible for customers to coherently measure both static and dynamic motion. While still producing superior instruments for the earth science community, REF TEK is now able to leverage Trimble’s global resources to provide complete solutions for the structural health monitoring of large civil engineering projects such as dams, bridges, buildings, excavations, embankments, mines, tunnels, oil and gas pipelines, and construction. If it moves, shakes, slides, shifts, or changes, we have the solution to monitor it.