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Drone use in a geophysical environment


Drones, including fixed-wing, have been used by GEO Resources in Oman for mapping, imagery, pipeline inspection, flare tip inspection and incident site investigation.

Companies have trialled drones for deployment of nodes in challenging terrain, and for remote QC of nodes.

The evolving technology, which we see in the future for geophysical operations, is summarized in the graphic.

· Node technology will enable fully flexible receiver geometries, these can be used to mitigate the physical constraints of severe terrain such as sand dunes or jebels, or may be used to enable emerging techniques such as progressive sensing.

· Remote QC may be enabled by drones using a variety of communication means, including satellite link.

· Machine learning combined with remote sensing provides analyses of terrain types, productivity predictions and ultimately could optimize route optimization.

· Automated deployment of nodes by drones can optimize efficiency including obviating on-the-ground surveying.

· Broadband vibrators may be used with distributed source techniques (DSA) to increase productivity.

· Real time monitoring of field operations, and also field inspections, has been in place for some time, this is being extended to web-based and app solutions.

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