Mr. Dinsha Patel, the Minister of Mines dedicated custom-made ALH-Dhruv, Garuda Vasudha to the nation by unveiling a plaque during a video conference from New Delhi at a function here today. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Patel hailed efforts of HAL in making this possible and said the copter should be used to get maximum benefits in larger economic interests of the country. “With the best and modern equipment fitted, this helicopter will help in exploration and mapping of mineral wealth in India”, he added. Senior officials from Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Mines, Geological Survey of India (GSI) and HAL were present on the occasion.
“It is a dream given to GSI as the copter is equipped with geophysical survey system”, said Dr. R.K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL. The GSI and HAL have now come together to deploy Garuda Vasudha in a specialized role of ‘heliborne surveys’ and ‘mineral exploration’ with the integration of the geo-physical multi-sensor survey systems, he added. India has now become the seventh country in the world to have heliborne survey system.
The ALH is integrated with geo-systems and would be utilized mainly for geological and geophysical exploration and mapping, environmental and nuclear surveillance, mineral, oil and gas exploration. The presence of rear earth minerals such as gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt, uranium, thorium, diamond, coal, petroleum, water, platinum, chromate, manganese and iron can be surveyed. Presently India is dependent on manual surveying or ground based vehicle surveying or by fast moving aircraft. The use of ALH will result in geo-survey benefits by accessing remote areas achieving self-reliance in this field. For instance India’s net petroleum products import for 2012-13 was Rs. 5, 33, 907 crores (137.35 mmt) and if geo-survey benefits by 1% it would amount to reduction of import by Rs. 5,000 crores. India also imported raw material, ores and minerals for industrial use to the tune of Rs 6,71,008 crores for the year 2012-13, with the new findings and exploration by using ALH, substantial amount could be saved in the import bill.
The Gurada- Vasuda is equipped with state-of-the-art latest magnetic, spectrometric and gravity heliborne geo-physical survey systems to carry out survey in India. The survey help geophysicists in data acquisition, processing and interpretation followed by geologists to carry out integration of geological and remote sensing data for understanding the sub-surface geology and regional tectonic set-up to help in geological mapping and identification of target blocks for mineral prospecting.
The ALH has proved its mettle in search and rescue operations in evacuating thousands of stranded people during ‘Operation Rahat’ in Uttarakhand in the most inaccessible and hostile regions. ALH out-classes all other helicopters in its category for its performance, versatility, safety and maintenance costs. Capable of flying in various climatic conditions, terrains and altitudes, ALH is an ideal choice for researchers who carry out specific missions. The successful integration of airborne survey on ALH platform is another feather in the cap for HAL
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