The main goal of this network is to establish a real laboratory in the model region of the upper Harz mountains, in which efficient airborne geophysical exploration methods for the deep exploration of raw materials will be tested in industry and evaluated taking into account geological and old mining data.

The model region will be explored in the project with large-scale helicopter and focused drone flights with innovative sensor technology and procedures, these will be supplemented with local high-resolution ground measurements and a 3D model of the geological subsurface will be derived from the data down to depths of more than 1000m will be derived.

The aim of the subproject of Leibniz IPHT is to raise new quantum magnetometer-based measuring instruments for large-scale exploration to a higher TRL level and to put them to use in the real laboratory. In the first measurements, this concerns the demonstrator from DESMEX. In parallel, a worldwide unique instrument for synchronous measurement of the components of the Earth’s magnetic field and its gradients with very high resolution, bandwidth and dynamic range based on a mixture of SQUIDs and optically pumped magnetometers (OPM) as well as a new towed probe will be explored, further developed and used in the subsequent measurement campaigns. This towed probe with internal damping and isolation unit is very important for motion noise reduction in airborne deployment of quantum sensors with sensitivity in a selected direction.

Finally, a novel three-axis OPM instrument will be used in the new towed probe as well as on drones. All mentioned instruments require further research of quantum sensors and miniaturization of all components esp. electronics. In particular, the second instrument will be adapted for use on drones.

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the funding code 033R385C, funding measure r4 – Research for the provision of economically strategic raw materials in the funding area of resource efficiency, and funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU.

Further information

Project partners

Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Hannover
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
DMT GmbH & Co. KG, Essen
Geologische Landesuntersuchungen GmbH, Freiberg
Harzwasserwerke GmbH, Hildesheim
iMAR Navigation GmbH, St. Ingbert
Landesamt für Bergbau, Energie und Geologie, Hannover
Leibniz-Institut für Angewandte Geophysik (LIAG) , Hannover
Projetträger Jülich
Supracon AG, Jena
Technische Universität Clausthal, Institut für Geotechnik und Markscheidewesen (IGMC), Clausthal-Zellerfeld
terratec geophysical services GmbH & Co. KG, Heitersheim
Universität zu Köln, Köln
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster