History of Sercel

Created in 1956, under the name SMEG, as an offshoot of the electronics department of Compagnie Générale de Géophysique, Sercel took on its current name in 1962. The company then moved from Paris to Nantes in 1965. At the time Sercel had 18 employees... Sercel now employs more than 2,000 people working in 11 different countries.

history sercel

The 60's : the beginning of Sercel's products

cgg old product

After the establishment of Sercel in 1962, the company commenced production of its initial product line in Nantes. This included a variety of amplifiers, such as the CGG59, as well as the introduction of transducers and digital recorders, marking the brand's inaugural product offerings during that decade.

• 1959 | CGG59: First mass-produced amplifier. (see picture)
• 1960 | AS604R: First transistorized amplifier for refraction,  seismic acquisition system. (12-trace common AGC)
• 1962 | AS626: First transistorized reflection-refraction amplifier. (12-trace 1 AGC gain value recorded)
• 1968 | SN328: Binary gain amplifier, world's first system with low-level multiplexer.
• 1968 | TNR: Fast digital plotter.

The 70's : first portable products

During the 1970s, Sercel made significant advancements in the company's product line by developing the industry's first portable device and computer-based system. Products like the SN348 emerged during this time, setting new standards within the industry and establishing Sercel as a prominent market leader.

• 1971 | SN338: Instantaneous floating point (IFP) amplifier, first really portable digital system.
• 1975 | TIGER: Computer-based system integration for fully accurate cross-correlation before recording.
• 1977 | SN348: First single-channel cable telemetry system to be used in extreme conditions. The industry standard!

SN348 first telemetry system

The 80's : Natural resources era


The 1980s played a crucial role in expanding and enhancing Sercel's product portfolio, particularly those designed for the exploration and extraction of natural resources.

• 1981 | CS2502: Correlation-stacking unit, the first to give accurate real-time correlation on 240 channels with a 2 ms sampling rate.
• 1983 | SN358: Conventional system, with a fast-sampling rate for a large number of channels for mineral and marine oil exploration.
• 1985 | SN368: Single-channel cable telemetry system that can record up to 1,200 traces at 2ms in extended version (LXU).
• 1987 | SN368: Dual-channel cable station unit.• 1988 | VE416 : Vibrator control electronics, the first auto-adaptive controller.
• 1989 | CS260: Correlation-stacking unit, up to 1200 channels with a 2 ms sampling rate.

The 90's : Joint venture & first acquisitions

Sercel expanded worldwide during the 90's, with a joint-venture in Asia and several acquisitions that enhanced the company's technological expertise. The rapid progress made during this decade gave rise to numerous innovations and systems that are still used in industry today. Several major products, such as the 408UL, were launched during this decade. 

• Acquisitions: Sercel acquires Opseis Geophysical Systems (1996), the AMG factory in France (1996), the Vibrator Technology of Mertz (1997) and GeoScience Corporation (1999).
• Joint-venture: Syntron Asia Sercel (1991) Xian Sercel Ltd (1996) established.
• Innovation: Sercel delivers SYNTRAK Multiple Streamer Telemetry System (1994), allowing the largest number of towed arrays and channels of any marine system in the industry.

408UL sercel 1999

2000-2010 : leadership and market development

nomad 90 sercel

Sercel continued to assert its leadership position in the natural resources market during the 2000s. Many products that our customers still use were born during that decade. 

• 2002 | Nomad 65: Sercel launches the Nomad 65, a new generation of all-terrain vibrators.
• 2002 | DSU: Sercel releases its Digital Sensor Unit (DSU).
• 2004 | Nomad 90: Sercel launches an heavier vibrator, the Nomad 90.
• 2005 | 428XL: Sercel announces the launch of 428XL seismic acquisition system.
• 2005 | SENTINEL®: Sercel launch the Sentinel solid streamer for marine seismic acquisition.
• 2006 | Nautilus: Sercel releases Nautilus, entering the marine positioning market.

• Acquisitions: Sercel acquires Mark Products (2000), SODERA (2003), Orca Instrumentation (2004), Createch VSP (2004), Metrolog (2008), Quest Geo Solutions (2009) and Optoplan (2009)
• Joint-venture: Sercel-Junfeng established as Joint Venture in China (2004)

2010-2020 : the path to differenciation and diversification

Sercel continued to assert its leadership position in the natural resources market during the 2000s. Many products that our customer still used were born during that decade. 

• 2013 | 508XT: Sercel announces 508XT, a new-generation seismic acquisition system.
• 2013 | SENTINEL® MS: Sercel releases the Sentinel® MS 3-C multi-sensor broadband streamer.
• 2014 | QuietSeis: Sercel announces QuietSeis™ digital sensor using MEMS technology.
• 2015 | Nomad 90 Neo: Sercel launches a super-heavy broadband vibrator, Nomad 90 Neo.
• 2017 | SENTINEL® HR: Sercel Launches Sentinel HR High-Resolution Seismic Streamer.
• 2019 | WiNG: Sercel launches WiNG next-generation land nodal system.
• 2019 | GPR: Sercel and BGP jointly launch game-changing GPR ocean bottom node.

• Acquisitions: Sercel acquires Geophysical Research Company, LLC. (GRC) (2012) and DE REGT Marine Cables (2013)

bridge structural health monitoring



• 2020 | S-Lynks: Sercel announces global launch of S-lynks structural health monitoring system.
• 2021 | BluePulse: Sercel launches Bluepulse, an innovative marine acoustic source offering the most advanced frequency control technology on the market.
• 2021 | PIKSEL: Sercel and Kappa Offshore Solutions jointly launch PIKSEL, a new high-resolution 3D marine seismic solution for renewable energy applications.
• 2021 | LISS: Sercel acquires LISS (Low Impact Seismic Sources).
• 2021 | MicrOBS Nodal Technology: Sercel launches MicrOBS Nodal Technology, a sparse nodal solution designed for seismic refraction and reflection surveys.

• Acquisitions: Sercel acquires ION Geophysical Corporation’s (“ION”) software business Geocomp Corporation (2022), specialized in services and products for geotechnical risk management and infrastructure monitoring and Morphosense (2022), a disruptive Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) / Structural Integrity Management (SIM) solution.