Helicopter- and drone-based exploration

drone during take-off
© Institut fuer Geophysik

The availability of technology metals is a basic prerequisite for advancing digitalisation and enabling the turnaround in energy policy. The predicted demand for some metals in the coming decades exceeds the currently known deposits. To explore new mineral deposits, electromagnetic induction methods can be used that display the electrical conductivity distribution of the subsurface resolved in depth.
The Working Group for Applied Geophysics is pursuing a novel approach in which the electromagnetic induction field is recorded during the overflight of one or more high-voltage transmitters installed on the ground using highly sensitive magnetometers integrated in a helicopter or UAV (see figure). With this approach, the depth of exploration can be significantly increased compared to classic helicopter-based electromagnetic measurement methods and thus new raw material deposits can be explored.
The methodology is also promising for the exploration of deep groundwater deposits and geological structures in general.

More on this topic can be found in the project overview