The indigenous system will be useful for mineral exploration, mapping of basement topography, and aquifer mapping
CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) has developed a unique drone-based geophysical survey system based on in-house design useful for mineral exploration, mapping of basement topography, and also for aquifer mapping of different geological terrains.
Director V.M. Tiwari informed on Wednesday that besides the ground magnetic surveys, in recent times, heliborne or airborne magnetic surveys are being frequently conducted using a magnetometer aboard or towed behind an aircraft or a helicopter. A magnetic system is required on the ground to record variations.
Also, they can be used for remote inaccessible areas as they are small and lightweight. As a pilot project, NGRI has used a lightweight and sensitive magnetometer towed behind an indigenously developed UAV for the acquisition of high-resolution magnetic data, explained by the director. It was tested near Yacharam off the Hyderabad–Nagarjunasagar road, about 51 km from here, and was flown at a speed of 5 meters/sec about 35 meters above the ground. “The present study has successfully demonstrated the capability of the UAV-Magnetic survey, which is cost-effective, faster, and reliable,” he said.
The demonstration was part of the ‘CSIR Mission Mode project on Drone-based Electromagnetic and Magnetic System (DREAM)’ and the technology is to be used on a larger scale to map natural resources in the newly formed Union Territory of Ladakh, said, Dr. Tiwari.
CSIR-Director General Shankar C. Mande, during the recent virtual diamond jubilee celebrations of the institute, remarked that this could be the game-changer to know about the underground water availability for better management. This is also because NGRI had earlier demonstrated that it is possible to do aquifer mapping of different geological terrains and had shown the depletion of water resources too with the help of satellite data.