Fugro Airborne Surveys :: Gravity Gradiometry

By: Fugro Airborne Surveys  09-12-2011
Keywords: Helicopter

FALCON is the world's first airborne gravity gradiometer (AGG) and is the only operating AGG technology developed specifically for airborne purposes.  It measures minute changes in the earth's gravity to high accuracy and high spatial resolution using both helicopter and fixed-wing platforms.

FALCON technology has enormous applicability and provides our clients with unique advantages in the search for water, minerals and hydrocarbons.  This advantage is backed by Fugro’s exclusivity on the best AGG technology coupled with our unique value-added processing and interpretation capabilities. 


FALCON provides high accuracy and high spatial resolution gravity and gravity gradient data for a wide range of mineral, hydrocarbon and water exploration applications, and gives you a competitive edge with:

  • The Highest Resolution AGG:  FALCON simultaneously provides the highest sensitivity to gravity, the best spatial resolution, and the best rejection of the effects of aircraft motion.
  • Complete Access:  Allows complete access to prospective terrains when ground access is limited.
  • Fast and Cost Effective Surveying  (than current gravity surveying alternatives):  Areas which once took years to survey using ground gravity crews can now be covered in days.
  • Complementary Data:  Gravity data complements Magnetic, EM, Radiometric and DTM data and provides additional insights for geological Interpretation.
  • Mature and Reliable Technology:  FALCON over 1.5 million survey km in 244 surveys over 17 countries.
  • Proven global success for a wide range of mineral, hydrocarbons and water exploration applications.
  • Lower Risk:  Health, Safety, Environment & Community (HSEC) risks lowered compared to intrusive ground and ship-based programs.

Four Falcon AGG systems have been built to date and operate around the world.  Three are currently operational in Cessna Grand Caravans.  The fourth system uses smaller and lighter digital electronics and can be installed on fixed-wing or helicopter platforms.

The FALCON airborne geophysics system always acquires FALCON AGG data, and industry standard, high resolution aeromagnetic data.  In addition, a high resolution laser scanner or LIDAR provides detailed topographic mapping data for use in terrain corrections for gravity.  These data can also be useful for a variety of other purposes. Optionally, the fixed-wing systems can also acquire radiometric data, and the helicopter system can also acquire electromagnetic data.

The Falcon AGG system installed in a helicopter has the following advantages:

  • Better terrain following capability.
  • Increased spatial resolution due to lower altitude and speed.
  • Increased signal due to lower ground clearance.
  • Superior signal-to-noise ratio resulting in better anomaly detection as a result of flying lower and slower.

Keywords: Helicopter

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