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The Operation and Application of Hunting’s Airborne Thematic Mapper


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Author Bird AC, Drury SA, Nind DC, Williams RD
ID P198601120


The Airborne Thematic Mapper is an eleven channel digital scanner which acquires image data in the visible, near infra-red, short wave infra-red and thermal infra-red wave- lengths. A description of the system is presented which includes details of the operating wavelengths and performance parameters of the scanner. Consideration is also given to the aircraft installation requirements. During January 1984 the scanner surveyed the mineral rich areas of Leonora, Laverton and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. This is a region of intense exploration activity for gold and base metals. Some 30,000 square kilometres were systematically surveyed in a period of ten days. This scanner was flown at 7,000 metres altitude giving a ground pixel size of 17.5 by 17.5 metres. The flight line spacing was 8 kilometres. The overall project took some thirty days from conception to completion. The planning and execution of this operation are described in detail. The resulting magnetic tapes provided 11 channels of digital image data over a 30,000 square kilometre area and a variety of image processing techniques were employed in order to capitalise fully on the results. The imagery provides a powerful tool for the geological mapping of the terrain. The data can also be used to monitor the environmental effects of mining operations.