Dr. Richard Gloaguen
Head of the Exploration Department 

Phone: +49 351 260 - 4424

UAV Aibot Ref.

Mineral Exploration with Drones

The Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology uses unmanned aerial systems (UAS, UAV or RPAS), also known as drones, to develop less invasive and high-resolution methods for the exploration of mineral resources. The applied methods include Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetry, drone-borne hyperspectral imaging as well as geophysical methods (magnetics and gamma spectroscopy). The scientists use the data, obtained from drone flights, in geological remote sensing and 3-D modeling to understand the structural control and pathways of mineralized fluids.

Our UAS are used in compliance with the relevant laws and guidelines (e.g. LuftVG, LuftVO) and with a valid permit.



    • sensefly ebee: our first work horse is used for photogrammetry.

    • Aibotix Aibot X6v2: our second work horse with a payload of up to 2 kg is used for surveying with a hyperspectral camera as well as for the photogrammetric mapping in quarries.

    • DJI Phantom 2 serves for video recording and surveying in sites which are difficult to access.


    • RIKOLA hyperspectral camera 500-900 nm, 50 free selectable channels

    • Nikon Coolpix/Canon IXUS for photogrammetry

Example for a 3-D model: The Kindisch quarry near Ohorn, Northeast Saxony

3D-Modell des Steinbruchs Kindisch bei Ohorn, Nordostsachsen

Selected Publications

  • Jakob, S.; Zimmermann; R. Gloaguen, R.
    "Pocessing of Drone-borne hyperspectral data for Geological Applications", IEEE WHISPERS 2016, Los Angeles/USA
    Best paper award