Rotary-wing airborne gravity gradiometry provides both better signal-to-noise and better spatial resolution than is possible with a fixed-wing survey in the same terrain by virtue of the low altitude, low speed and close terrain following capabilities of a helicopter. In rugged terrain, these flight characteristics provide a significant advantage for the use of helicopters for gravity data acquisition. Comparing helicopter surveys over gentle terrain at Margaret Lake, Canada, and over rugged terrain at Mount Aso, Japan demonstrates that although there is some loss of spatial resolution in the more rugged terrain, the line spacing remains the limitation to resolution in these examples. The slightly higher altitudes forced by rugged terrain make the requirements for terrain correction easier than for gentle terrain. Transforming the curvature gradients measured by the Falcon gravity gradiometer into gravity and the complete set of tensor components without loss of resolution is done by a Fourier method over gentle terrain and an equivalent source method over rugged terrain. The Fourier method is perfectly stable and uses iterative padding to improve the accuracy of the longer wavelengths. The equivalent source method relies on a smooth inversion and the source distribution must be customized to suit the survey design.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Chen, T., Dransfield, M. H. and Droine, B.
    , 2016, Equivalent source and Fourier transform methods in Falcon AGG data processing, In R. J. L.Lane, (Editor), 2016, Airborne Gravity 2016 - Papers from the Airborne Gravity 2016 Workshop. In preparation.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Christensen, A.N. and Hodges, G.
    , 2013, ‘HeliFalcon Gravity Gradiometer Data Acquisition in Rugged Terrain’, Proceedings of the 11th SEGJ International Symposium, Yokohama, Japan, 18-21 November 2013.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Dransfield, M. H.
    , 2007, Airborne gravity gradiometry in the search for mineral deposits, in B.Milkereit, (Editor)2007, Exploration in the New Millennium: Proceedings of Exploration 07, Fifth Decennial International Conference on Mineral Exploration.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. , 2010, Requirements for airborne gravity gradient terrain corrections, ASEG Extended Abstracts 2010: 21st Geophysical Conference.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Dransfield, M. H. and Lee, J. B.
    , 2004, The Falcon airborne gravity gradiometer survey systems, in R. J. L.Lane, editor, Airborne Gravity 2004 - Abstracts from the ASEG-PESA Airborne Gravity 2004 Workshop: Geoscience Australia Record 2004/18, 15–19.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Dransfield, M. H. and Christensen, A. N.
    , 2013, Performance of airborne gravity gradiometers, The Leading Edge, 32(8), 908–922.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Hodges, G., Dransfield, M. H. and Shei, T.
    , 2010, The Falcon airborne gravity gradiometer for engineering applications, presented at 23rd EEGS Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error