A vibration-sensitive, Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS) array, using fiber-optic cables, was deployed in a triangularly shaped geometry on the frozen surface of Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. The purpose of the array and testing program was to analyze the DAS response and to utilize the high spatial density of the distributed array for system response characterization in a well-constrained, small, surface array. A geophone array was also deployed to provide a reference system. The design of the array allowed us to assess the response of DAS with respect to distance from the seismic sources, the degradation of the response with length of the cable, the directivity of the fiber response with respect of the direction of the particle motion, and the quality of the signal with respect to cable type. The DAS array was examined for different cable constructions and orientations relative to the source propagation direction. Tight-buffered and loose-tube fiber-optic cable constructions were used, with both having good signal responses when well-coupled to the ice. In general, the tight-buffered cable was better suited for DAS applications. Directional sensitivity of the DAS was also inspected for several directions of wave propagation and particle motion. The results showed that the strongest DAS signals were recorded when the direction of the fiber was oriented parallel to the direction of particle motion. Finally, the DAS and geophone data sets were examined together to qualitatively determine, in conjunction with established DAS best practices, how the high spatial density offered by DAS could improve results over traditional point sensor arrays in certain situations.

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