Survey Drones Collect Seismic Data, Save Environment

In the surveying world, seismic data can reveal a plethora of valuable information. For example, the oil and gas industry heavily relies on seismic data to determine where the good stuff is buried. Seismic data in remote areas is sometimes difficult to collect.

As this patent application observes, “if seismic equipment has to be deployed via a land vehicle, roads may be employed. If there are no roads, creating them can be time consuming and expensive. In addition, there may be an environmental impact to moving equipment through difficult terrain and into position. These drawbacks may result in locations that are not able to be surveyed unless there are strong reasons to believe that the location may contain resources and that the resulting seismic survey (and the costs associated therewith) are a good investment.”

Thus, surveying can be relegated to our friends, the drones. A single worker with a laptop and 3 drones can trek into the wilderness and collect all data without cutting down a single tree. Each drone is equipped with a seismic sensor and transmitter. The drones fly a pre-determined pattern and gather necessary measurements that are sent to the worker’s laptop.


The first claim is quite broad:

  1. A method for acquiring seismic data, comprising:
  • receiving location information at an aerial vehicle including a seismic sensor;
  • navigating the aerial vehicle to a location based on the location information;
  • engaging the seismic sensor;
  • acquiring seismic data by the seismic sensor;
  • and transmitting the seismic data acquired at the seismic sensor to the controller device



US Patent Application No: 20160003954

Filed (US Prov): Jul. 7, 2014

Published: January 7, 2016

Applicant: Schlumberger Technology Corporation,  Sugar Land, TX

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