It sounds contradictory, but exploration of the ground we stand on – digging for precious metals, trying to locate hidden faultlines in Earth’s crust, or establishing the optimum way to fertilise farmland – is often best accomplished from the air. But to do the job properly, you need a robust aerial platform able to fly low and slow, with a superhero-like capacity to see right through solid objects.
Until now, that’s been hard to accomplish, anywhere. That’s why it’s especially pleasing that a solution has been found right here in South Africa. The Kriek IIB gyrocopter carries a high-tech payload that allows it to penetrate the ground to depths of up to 15 km, giving geologists a detailed, accurate picture of what’s hidden from view. Amazingly, it’s relatively inexpensive, too. The quality of its captured data is so high, and its operational costs so low, that it’s already attracted serious attention from big mining concerns in Australia, Canada and Asia.
See the Kriek IIB gyropcopter in action…
Read more about GyroLAG’s high-tech gyroplane in PM’s October 2012 issue – on sale on 24 September.