Strange looking aircraft explained
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’.