Mines Minister Dinsha Patel dedicated the advanced light helicopter "Garuda Vasudha" to the nation here today through video-conferencing.
The helicopter was launched from the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) Complex, Bangalore. It will be with the Geological Survey of India and is equipped with a Heliborne Geophysical Survey System (HGSS)
Patel also laid the foundation stone of a Centre of Excellence Laboratory building of the GSI at its Bangalore complex at a cost of Rs. 42 crore.
The "Garuda Vasudha", a 'Dhruv' category helicopter has been indigenously built by HAL and the HGSS. It comprises four aerogeophysical sensors, namely Time Domain Electromagnetic, Magnetic, Spectrometric and Gravimetric alongwith Data Acquisition Systems, have been procured from M/s Pico Envirotec Inc., Canada.
The installation and integration of the sensor system has been carried out at HAL.
The total cost of the HGSS is about Rs.63 crores.
Speaking on the occasion, Patel said the "Garuda Vasudha" would be used for extensive surveys by the GSI for locating hidden mineral wealth.
He further said the state-of-the-art HGSS will bolster the probing prowess of aerogeophysical surveys for locating concealed and deep seated mineral deposits of the country.
Patel said the moment has come when the remote sensing and aerial survey wing of the GSI would be using both the aerial and heliborne survey together and would be effectively used in locating mineral resources which is going to fulfill rising demands and will also result in saving valuable foreign exchange.
Praising GSI for its centre of excellence, Patel said the establishment of one more centre of excellence at Bangalore is part of the modernization program.
The objective is to create a highly modernized and sophiticatedly equipped state-of-the-art centre for carrying out diverse geo-scientific studies.
The centre will be equiped electron probe micro analyser, In Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, X-ray fluorescence Spectrometer, X-ray diffraction spectrometer, Raman Spectroscopy and an Atomic absorption spectrometer.
The centre will further have facilities for fluid inclusion studies, petrological studies and geophysical data analyses etc. The centre of excellence will give a huge fillip to the laboratory support for mineral exploration and research.
At present, the GSI has three centres of excellence in Faridabad, Kolkata and Bangalore.
On the occasion two brochure ' Remote Sensing and Aerial Surveys and Heliborne Geophysical Survey System were released.
Present during the video conferencing, were senior officers from the Ministry of Mines and Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence and GSI.