30 Mar '16, 9pm

Stamp-Size Gravity Meter Could Have Big Impact On Oil Exploration

Stamp-Size Gravity Meter Could Have Big Impact On Oil Exploration

To find buried oil reserves, surveyors have for decades used gravity meters, or gravimeters, along with other instruments. Gravimeters are hypersensitive versions of accelerometers: They measure extremely tiny changes in the acceleration due to gravity. These nanoscale changes can happen because of the presence of subterranean geological features like oil wells. The best gravimeters in use today are the size of a shopping basket, weigh a few kilograms, and cost around US $100,000, which limits their use. But a new postage stamp–size device developed by Scottish researchers could make oil exploration faster, easier, safer, and more economical. The new microelectromechanical (MEMS) device, along with all of its electronics, fits in a shoebox. And according to Richard Middlemiss —the physics and astronomy graduate student at the University of Glasgow who, along with other res...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/fossil-fuels/s...

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