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Satellite Mining

  1. Oct 14, 2007 #1
    Hi, I would like to know if that there is any known ray or system that could be sent from a satellite down to earth to read the earths magnetic feilds to see high concentrations of precious metals in the ground?

    In other words I would like to discuss the possibilities of sending a satellite into Orbit to detect high concentrations of precious metals for mining purposes.

    Please reply promptly.


    Chris O'Connor
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yes! It is called a Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD).

    Welcome to PF!
  4. Oct 17, 2007 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You probably wouldn't do it from a satelite though.
    The field from a magnet falls off quite quickly with distance and there are lots of other electromagnetic fields in space that would swamp the system.
    Gravity detection is also used but again from closer to the ground.

    The main satelite resource use is looking at patterns of vegetation to spot surface chemicla traces which might indicate underground deposits.
  5. Oct 22, 2007 #4
    you're absolutely right mgb_phys.

    also just read about meon's the last months scientific american (the special edition with food and stuff) and it discussed how meons (look it up in astronomy) can be used to find nuclear material, but also heavy metals. thing is that they're gonna use it in Japan to detect seismic shifts in the ground, through lava flows and shift in mineral concentrations in the ground. and although no detectors are available to do this in large scale from a satellite, the technology is under development.
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