The hardware of an IMS seismic network is divided into three major constituents, namely sensors, digital acquisition and data communication.
- Sensors are devices that convert ground motion (ground velocity or acceleration) into a measurable electronic signal. Non-seismic sensors may also be used in an IMS seismic network.
- Digital acquisition encompasses devices responsible for the conversion of analog signals from sensors, into a digital format. Data can be recorded continuously or by employing triggering algorithms that determine when a seismic event occurs.
- Seismic data is then transmitted to a central computer for storage and processing or to a local disk in the case of a Stand-Alone system. Various means of data communication can be employed to suit different system environments.