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Unmanned Airborne Magnetic and VLF Investigations: Effective Geophysical Methodology for the Near Future

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DOI: 10.4236/pos.2011.23012    6,294 Downloads   14,057 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

Airborne geophysical investigations are now recognized as a powerful tool for geological-geophysical mapping, mineral prospecting, environmental assessments, ecological monitoring, etc. Currently, however, there are two main drawbacks to effective application of these investigations: (a) the difficulty of conducting geophysical surveys at low altitudes, (b) heightened danger for the aircraft crew, especially in regions with a rugged topography. Unmanned or so-called Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV) surveys are not bound by these limitations. The new unmanned generation of small and maneuvering vehicles can fly at levels of a few (even one) meters above the Earth’s surface, and thus follow the relief, while simultaneously making geophysical measurements. In addition, ROV geophysical investigations have extremely low exploitation costs. Finally, measurements of geophysical fields at different observation levels can provide new, unique geological-geophysical information. This chapter discusses future geophysical integration into ROV of measurements of magnetic and VLF electromagnetic fields. The use of GPS with improved wide-band Kalman filtering will be able to provide exact geodetic coordinates. A novel interpreting system for complex environments is presented that includes non-conventional methods for localizing targets in noisy backgrounds, filtering temporary variations from magnetic and VLF fields, eliminating terrain relief influence, quantitative analysis of the observed anomalies and their integrated examination. This system can be successfully applied at various scales for analysis of geophysical data obtained by ROVs to search for useful minerals, geological mapping, the resolution of many environmental problems, and geophysical monitoring of dangerous geological phenomena.

Cite this paper

L. Eppelbaum and A. Mishne, "Unmanned Airborne Magnetic and VLF Investigations: Effective Geophysical Methodology for the Near Future," Positioning, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2011, pp. 112-133. doi: 10.4236/pos.2011.23012.

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