Drone Inspections WA Utilise Ground-Penetrating Radar for Mining




DIWA, the Drone Inspections WA team, are utilising ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technology to inspect mining sites across Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Ground-penetrating radar uses electromagnetic radiation to create images of sub-surface features, with applications including mineral exploration and prospecting, civil engineering, construction management and archeology. Drones are known for their ability to access locations that may be difficult or dangerous to reach, and can provide essential data about these locations without risk to people on the ground.


1) What is Ground Penetrating Radar?

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a geophysical method that uses electromagnetic radiation to image the subsurface. It’s a non-invasive technique that can be used on any type of surface, even water. GPR works by sending out radio waves into soil and rock, then recording their reflections from interfaces between materials of different dielectric properties – such as between soil and bedrock or minerals in rocks. By looking at these reflections, it’s possible to map structures within materials.


2) Why do We Need It?

The team from drone inspections WA spent some time in the Pilbara testing a new ground-penetrating radar (GPR) for our mining clients. Hovering just 1m meter above the ground DIWA was able to automate a flight plan and cover a large area in a single flight. The GPR worked very well allowing for high-quality data on rock formations.


3) How Can Drones Help?

The future of mining is upon us, and it includes drone technology. The benefits that drones can provide to mining companies are numerous; they can be used to inspect machinery, improve security at mine sites, and check up on equipment. But there’s one use of drones in particular that no company should be without: GPR (ground penetrating radar). As seen in recent research conducted by drone inspections WA (DIWA), GPR is a game-changer for mining companies looking to improve their processes.


4) Drone use cases in Geology

Ground-penetrating radar is an automated geophysical method that detects subsurface features by sending pulses of radiofrequency energy into geologic materials and recording their reflected signals. GPR is used in a number of applications including archeology, building foundation inspection, structural analysis, forestry, mining operations, environmental protection, land surveying and geohazards. The high penetration depth capability of GPR makes it well suited to detect objects at depth under challenging conditions.