An automated laboratory hydraulic fracture experiment has been assembled to determine what rock and treatment parameters are crucial to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of field hydraulic fractures. To this end a large (460 mm cubic sample) polyaxial cell, with servo-controlled X, Y, Z, pore pressure, crack-mouth-opening-displacement, and bottom hole pressure, was built. Active imaging with embedded seismic diffraction arrays images the geometry of the fracture. Preliminary tests indicate fracture extent can be imaged to within 5%. Unique embeddible high-fidelity particle velocity AE sensors were designed and calibrated to allow determination of fracture source kinematics.
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