"In just under 20 minutes, we manage to scan the subsoil of a large plot, identifying the presence of water up to a depth of 250 meters thanks to electromagnetic probes. In just a few hours, therefore, we can tell growers whether there is groundwater suitable for irrigation in a specific area," explains Vincenzo Orso, drone pilot for Hydro Hunter Italia with over 35 of experience as a helicopter pilot in the Italian armed forces.
Hydro Hunter Italia was established in 2017 and deals with water research in the subsoil using innovative multi-rotor fixed-wing aircraft systems controlled remotely. The professional team is made up of geophysicists and IT and aeronautical experts.
"We have been receiving a lot of requests lately, as companies are increasingly dealing with the difficulties caused by the drought. But it is not just Italian businesses that get in touch, as those located in other continents approach us. Only recently, we worked with a company in Cape Verde (Africa), a land known for its lack of water where we conducted various positive scans."
"A drone featuring a technology and probe patented by us flies over the area and sends electromagnetic waves to the soil. This operation enables us to detect the difference in density of a particular layer of soil, thus reporting any electromagnetic anomalies which are then detected by the drone and notified to operators via Bluetooth. In the areas characterized by such anomalies, the chance of finding water is very high, so we perform an orthogonal magnetic resonance that gives us the colored chart of subsoil stratification (e.g. the photo below). So far, this method has had a success rate exceeding 85%, depending also on the nature of the various soils."
"We never provide our clients with a value in terms of possible cubic meters of water present in the subsoil, we rather provide them with advice on whether it is worth drilling. Once our work is done, we provide a technical report that can be handed over to drilling companies. We provide a free preliminary exploratory geophysical analysis to assess the feasibility of finding water in the soil so as to avoid making useless investments."