Deposits of copper, nickel, cobalt, gold and lithium for example, which is used to create zero emissions car batteries can now be discovered through a 50 sq/km grid of satellite-enabled Geodes, which can be easily installed by small, local teams. These are hand-transportable sensors which dramatically reduces the logistics requirements for remote exploration projects. It also allows explorers to adapt their approach quickly without the need to dismantle and move heavy equipment.
Each wireless, battery-operated Geode contains a sophisticated processing unit, satellite transmitter and a seismic sensor. The Geodes use the principles of seismology to map the properties of the Earth’s subsurface from reflected seismic waves by recording ambient noise – a process known as Ambient Noise Tomography (ANT).
Once sufficient ANT data is gathered, Geodes partially process the raw information on site, reducing the data requirement for transmission – a practice known as ‘edge processing’ that significantly increases the speed of connectivity between Internet of Things (IoT) devices and allows more information to be sent while drawing significantly less power. This streamlined volume of data is securely pushed to Fleet Space’s existing network of low-power small satellites. The smallsat then automatically sends the information to ground stations, dramatically reducing the time required to process data. This in turn allows explorers to make informed decisions on areas of interest much faster than traditional methods. There is now no need to wait for devices to be collected, shipped, and unpacked to collect the data.
The data from each Geode is rapidly processed through a machine learning algorithm aimed to deliver a full 3D visualisation of the subsurface down to 2 km depth. A clear, rich image of what resources are below ground can be generated in as little as four days – ordinarily, ANT takes 6-12 months to return a conclusive result. Using a bespoke Fleet-developed system, these visualisations are accessible to view and export anywhere on earth in real-time. The speed of this imaging now means that thousands of square kilometres of area can be imaged in a fraction of the time of traditional methods.
ALREADY IN OPERATION:
This combination of three radical technologies – ambient seismic noise tomography, low-power satellite connectivity and intelligent cloud processing are employed to help leading companies with exploration for copper, gold, cobalt, nickel, lithium and other critical minerals.In a landmark 1000km2 survey in Australia’s South Eastern region, the ANT method was utilsed to unobtrusively image regional structures and faulting in order to target a geothermal reservoir.
GeoSphere in action | a case study with Greenfields: “We choose to work with Fleet’s GeoSphere technology to dramatically speed up and lower the cost of our remote field work in Greenland. Our approach to exploration requires imaging data that is acquired as cost effectively, quickly and as sensitive to the environment as possible. We see the potential in this technology to relieve major pressure points in mining exploration.” Lindsay Dick, Executive Director of Greenfield’s Exploration