December 2009

Rugged mountains buried beneath the ice of Antarctica have been imaged with the help of Sander Geophysics' AIRGrav airborne gravity system. During December 2008 and January 2009 over 50,000 km of airborne gravity data were collected by one of SGL's AIRGrav systems mounted in a Twin Otter aircraft as part of Antarctica's Gamburtsev Province Project (AGAP). Dr Michael Studinger from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University, New York, presented preliminary results from the AGAP survey at the 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco.

December 2009

The 2009 ICE Bridge project over Antarctica has wrapped up successfully. Designed to provide vital information about ice at the poles, ICE Bridge is a NASA project to bridge the gap between the retirement of ICESat I (2009) and the launch of ICESat II (expected in 2014-15). The project used a specially modified NASA DC-8 mounted with various pieces of equipment from multiple agencies, including Sander Geophysics' AIRGrav system. This season, 21 missions were flown over Antarctica from a base in southern Chile, totalling 155,000 km and 227 flight hours. This exceeded the original plan of a 17 flight mission, with some of those additional flights designed specifically to take advantage of the high resolution and accuracy of Sander Geophysics' AIRGrav system. Highlights include the acquisition of detailed gravity maps covering the floating ice shelves associated with major West Antarctic outlet glaciers, which is expected to contribute to a better understanding of ice sheet mass balance and its relation to the changes in the polar climate.

  • Please see the following page for links to additional information on this project.

November 2009

To demonstrate the capability of AIRGrav for marine gravity applications Sander Geophysics performed a marine gravity survey on Lake Ontario in October, 2009. Preliminary results from the survey are excellent, and the data will be publicly released once final processing has been completed. Sander Geophysics has been acquiring and processing high resolution airborne gravity data for over 10 years using the company´s 12 AIRGrav systems. AIRGrav is now the industry standard for high resolution airborne gravity, with over 2 million lkm of airborne gravity surveys flown worldwide. Designed specifically for the unique characteristics of the airborne environment, AIRGrav is the highest resolution gravimeter available. The data quality is not affected by the air turbulence normally encountered on airborne surveys, even in hot and windy environments. The stability of the AIRGrav system also allows surveys to be flown under normal daytime survey conditions. Until now AIRGrav has been used exclusively for airborne surveys, but AIRGrav´s ability to operate in the harsh airborne environment makes it ideally suited to marine use, where it can be used in conjunction with seismic or as a standalone survey - AIRGrav is essentially over-engineered for the less harsh environment of marine surveys, where vibration and vessel acceleration is much lower than in an aircraft.

October 2009

Sander Geophysics is proud to be participating in NASA's ICE Bridge project in Antarctica. Having previously supplied an AIRGrav airborne gravimeter for last year's highly successful AGAP survey in Antarctica, SGL was the obvious choice to supply a reliable, high resolution, gravity system in support of NASA's current project. The ICE Bridge project is designed to provide vital information about the ice sheet at the poles, and will bridge the gap between the retirement of ICESat I (expected in 2009) and the launch of ICESat II (expected in 2014-15). During this period, NASA plans to acquire data using a DC-8 aircraft mounted with various pieces of equipment from multiple agencies, including Sander Geophysics' AIRGrav system, which is being provided through an agreement with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Missions will be flown over Antarctica from a base in southern Chile starting in October, 2009.

  • Please see the following page for links to additional information on this project.

August 2009

Sander Geophysics will fly a new airborne geophysical survey project under contract to Geoscience BC. The survey, called QUEST-South, is designed to encourage exploration and create much needed jobs in BC's southern interior. While the region has significant potential for copper-gold and copper-molybdenum deposits, parts of the area are obscured by young volcanic rock making exploration more challenging. Sander Geophysics will use its unique AIRGrav airborne gravity technology to gather information about the subsurface. The survey area is the size of England, so a vast area is being covered.

August 2009

Sander Geophysics is pleased to have been selected by Geoscience BC to fly a new airborne gravity survey in British Columbia, Canada. This survey, called QUEST-South, will be Sander Geophysics third airborne gravity survey funded by Geoscience BC in this region. Sander Geophysics will use its unique AIRGrav airborne gravity technology to fly an area of approximately 45,000 square kilometers between Williams Lake and the US border. The new public information gathered for the mineral exploration industry is intended to encourage exploration investment and job opportunities in BC's southern interior. The datasets from the previously flown Geoscience BC surveys called QUEST (2007) and QUEST-West (2008) are already publicly available, and they will be combined with the new QUEST-South dataset which is expected to be released in early 2010.

July 2009

Sander Geophysics' AIRGrav system was chosen for Antarctica's Gamburtsev Province Project over competing airborne gravimeters due to AIRGrav's superior performance. Before being chosen for the demanding Antarctic survey test flights were flown over the Rocky Mountains, west of Calgary, and from Ellesmere Island in Nunavut to demonstrate the system's capabilities at high latitudes over the North Pole, and over Greenland's ice sheet. The system then headed for Antarctica. The AIRGrav system accurately gathers gravity data while compensating for aircraft motion due to turbulence, and aircraft vibrations, allowing for the removal of these effects from the final data during processing, using very accurate GPS.

April 2009

The AIRGrav survey flown by SGL in the Nechako Basin was part of a project funded by the Government of Canada, through Natural Resources Canada�s Mountain Pine Beetle Program. This stimulation to mineral and energy exploration could help diversify the economy in areas recovering from mountain pine beetle infestation. Potential oil and gas deposits can be detected by identifying the varied densities of rock revealed by the airborne gravity survey.

March 2009

Sander Geophysics (SGL) successfully completed its participation in the data acquisition phase of Antarctica's Gamburtsev Province Project (AGAP) which is part of the International Polar Year. During December and January, over 50,000 km of airborne gravity data were collected by the AIRGrav system mounted in the survey Twin Otter aircraft. The gravity map revealed the peaks and valleys of the Gamburtsev mountains hidden beneath the featureless surface of the ice sheet. Data is currently in Ottawa being analyzed.

Antarctica's hidden mountains - Mapping the bottom of the world

CBC Interview - Stefan Elieff (project geophysicist) talks about harnessing gravity to probe the ice-bound Antarctic mountains

  •, March 2009

February 2009

Sander Geophysics completes successful Antarctic AIRGrav survey as part of Antarctica's Gamburtsev Province Project (AGAP). The airborne gravity survey exposed the area's markedly rugged terrain with sharp mountain peaks and well defined valleys under ice more than four kilometres thick.

January 2009

Sander Geophysics completed an airborne geophysical survey for Australian explorer Tap Oil over onshore Brunei Darussalam. The airborne survey is the first phase of an exploration program that also involves seismic acquisition, for Block M, an area that includes the Belait oil and gas field. The results of SGL's airborne gravity and magnetic survey will help determine the plan for further exploration in the area.

November 2008

Scientists from Sander Geophysics are taking one of the company's AIRGrav systems to Antarctica, as part of International Polar Year, to unveil the mystery of the massive Gamburtsev mountain range which is buried under ice four kilometres thick. Sander Geophysics' AIRGrav instrument will reveal the distribution of materials with varied densities. The airborne survey flown in a grid pattern will take about a month.

November 2008

Sander Geophysics has earned the privilege of participating in the Antarctica's Gamburtsev Province Project (AGAP) which is part of the fourth International Polar Year (IPY) taking place during the 2008-2009 season. The AGAP team selected AIRGrav over other gravimeters for this demanding Antarctic survey.

October 2008

Sander Geophysics is flying an AIRGrav and magnetic survey in the western part of Brunei as part of Brunei National Petroleum's (PetroleumBRUNEI) onshore Block M project with TAP Energy. The government endeavours to open up exploration in an untouched area in a quest to locate more oil and gas in Brunei.

August 23, 2008

With great sadness we announce the passing of George Wolfgang Sander. The founder and chairman of Sander Geophysics, and a pioneer and innovator in the field of airborne geophysics will be missed.

  • George W. Sander
  • Sander Geophysics, August 25, 2008, Ottawa, Canada (pdf - 156 KB)

August 2008

Sander Geophysics' 160 employees move into newly expanded office facilities, at our existing location, at the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. The addition is equipped with many environmental initiatives. Contact information remains the same.

June 2008

Sander Geophysics is pleased to be flying the new QUEST-West survey for Geoscience BC in the Bulkley-Nechako Region of central BC. The contract involves acquiring over 23,000 line kilometres of airborne gravity data over the main QUEST-West area plus the Babine-Takla lakes area extension. With the increased investment and exploration generated by the initial project Geoscience BC was eager to launch a new program in an area deeply affected by the pine beetle epidemic and a downturn in the forestry industry.

June 2008

Geoscience BC released the final data set for the QUEST airborne gravity survey that was flown by Sander Geophysics in the winter of 2007-08. The airborne gravity digital data, grids and final technical report can be downloaded at Geoscience BC QUEST Project Data Releases. This gravity survey involved more than 27,000 line kilometres of data at a 2 km line spacing.

December 2007

Sander Geophysics has begun flying the QUEST airborne gravity survey for Geoscience BC, and is currently based in Prince George. As of Monday, December 12th the gravity survey is over 20% complete. The QUEST Project is a geoscience initiative designed by Geoscience BC to attract mineral exploration interest and investment to central British Columbia.

Fall 2007

SGL has asked Carleton University students to design an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) for challenging survey missions close to the ground. This airborne vehicle must be modular, robust, low-cost, and only require a two-person ground crew for launch, recovery and control.

Summer 2007

Steady growth continues at Sander Geophysics. Three Diamond Aircraft DA42 Twin Stars are new additions to the fleet. AIRGrav is the system of choice for superior high resolution airborne gravity surveys and Sander has a new scanning LiDAR system, SGLas which produces high resolution digital elevation models.

  • SGL News 2007
  • Sander Geophysics, Summer 2007, Ottawa, Canada (pdf - 717 KB)

June 2006

Sander Geophysics has taken delivery of two new survey aircraft to support continued high demand for SGL's airborne geophysical services.


Sander Geophysics is proud to announce that 2006 marks our 50th year of operations! Sander Geophysics has grown to be the largest independently owned airborne survey company in the world.

July 2005

Sander Geophysics completes a magnetic and gravity survey in Papua New Guinea that assists in the location and interpretation of seismic. New prospective areas for acquiring additional seismic data have been identified.

Summer 2005

Cessna Caravan celebrates 20 years with the delivery of the 1,500th Caravan.

June 2005

SGL is part of a new exploration campaign in Mauritania, flying an aeromagnetic survey over Block 11 of the coastal basin.

December 2004

SGL conducts an airborne gravity survey in Saudi Arabia's Empty Quarter.

Summer 2004

SGL has been growing rapidly; now employing over 100 people and acquiring three new aircraft, in the past year. Very positive results have been realized with SGL's purpose built AIRGrav system.

December 2003

Sander Geophysics has started flying an airborne gravity survey near Timmins, Ontario for Discover Abitibi. The survey is being flown with Sander Geophysics' proprietary AIRGrav system, and it is intended to aid in the mapping of regional geology within this important mining belt. The survey was originally planned as a ground survey, but SGL successfully demonstrated that a fixed-wing AIRGrav survey can match the accuracy and resolution of a ground gravity survey and can deliver significant cost and time savings. Additional information about the survey is available on the Discover Abitibi website.

October 2003

Sander Geophysics now has an aircraft in Brazil ready for surveying. With our Brazilian partner, AeroSat we have licensed and registered a specially modified geophysical aircraft for work in Brazil. The aircraft was brought from Canada and registered in Brazil, and now carries the registration PT-MGX. The aircraft is equipped to conduct airborne gravity, magnetic, and gamma ray spectrometer surveys. Airborne gravity surveys are conducted with SGL's proprietary AIRGrav system which is a purpose built airborne gravimeter. This system has flown gravity surveys in North and South America, Africa and the Middle East.

October 2003

SGL has recently acquired three new aircraft for geophysical surveying, including two fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter. The company now has a total of ten modern survey aircraft, including six turbine engine Cessna 208B Grand Caravans and a Eurocopter AS 350 B3 helicopter. All SGL aircraft have been extensively modified to reduce their magnetic effect.

September 2003

SGL flew an AIRGrav test survey just north of the town of Timmins, which includes the airport and the Kidd Creek mine site. AIRGrav test survey data set is now available on the Discover Abitibi website or it can be obtained from SGL directly. The data set contains the AIRGrav data, ground gravity data and the survey report.

July 2003

SGL has recently completed and tested a second AIRGrav system. This system is a purpose built gravimeter designed for the rigors of the airborne environment, and suitable for fixed-wing or helicopter surveying. Fixed-wing AIRGrav surveys typically result in airborne gravity data with an accuracy of 0.2 mGal over a two kilometer half sine wave anomaly.

June 2003

A number of employees at SGL are now licensed under the new Professional Geoscientists Act of Ontario, allowing them to use the professional designation P.Geo. The license is administered by the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO).

April/May 2003

Airborne gravity technologies have advanced rapidly in the last decade with the precision of differential GPS and laser survey devices.

January 2003

Sander Geophysics called in to help locate radioactive device in northern Alberta.

January 2002

Sander Geophysics and the Geological Survey of Finland Sign Cooperative Agreement.

July 2001

Sander Geophysics conducts a mineral exploration survey for Tri Origin Exploration using AIRGrav.

June 2001

With continuing growth at Sander Geophysics a new aircraft is purchased.  SGL´s aircraft fleet increases to eight with the addition of a fifth turbine Cessna Grand Caravan.

May/June 1999

SGL in Wings magazine.

February 1999

SGL recipient of the Roland Groome Award presented each year by Transport Canada to the aircraft maintenance organization that has "demonstrated that its day to day operations are of an exceptionally high standard".