Strange look­ing air­craft ex­plained

Chinchilla News - - NEWS -

A LOW-FLY­ING chop­per car­ry­ing a strange look­ing ob­ject around Chinchilla had lo­cals baf­fled this week.

But they need not be con­cerned.

The he­li­copter is un­der­tak­ing work for Geo­science Aus­tralia, con­duct­ing a re­gional air­borne sur­vey as a part of the Su­rat-Galilee project un­der the Ex­plor­ing for the Fu­ture Pro­gram.

The strange look­ing ob­ject be­ing towed by the he­li­copter is an air­borne elec­tro-mag­netic sur­vey de­vice known as a ‘bird’.

Data for the sur­vey is gath­ered by trans­mit­ting a weak elec­tro-mag­netic sig­nal which in­duces eddy cur­rents in the ground.

The sig­nal can de­tect vari­a­tions in the con­duc­tiv­ity of the ground to a depth of sev­eral hun­dred me­tres.

The con­duc­tiv­ity re­sponse is com­monly caused by the pres­ence of elec­tri­cally con­ducted ma­te­ri­als such as salt or saline wa­ters, graphite, clays and sul­phites and min­er­als.

The aim of this sur­vey is to test new tech­nolo­gies and ap­proaches to map­ping ground wa­ter sys­tems and pro­cesses.

Geo­science Aus­tralia is hop­ing data gath­ered dur­ing the sur­vey can be used as an ef­fi­cient tool to map lo­ca­tions of ground­wa­ter near the sur­face. SCOTT WIL­LIAMSON


FLY­ING HIGH: Aus­tralia’s Geo­science ‘bird’.

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