Helios Field-portable Core & Soil Analyzer Uses Advanced NMR for Sample Analysis

Helios Field-portable Core & Soil Analyzer Uses Advanced NMR for Sample Analysis

Vista Clara’s Helios Core and Soil Analyzer (formerly named Corona) brings an unprecedented level of accuracy, flexibility and portability for robust measurements of hydrologic properties across a wide range of core sizes and lithology.

By combining advanced NMR technology with low-field, high-bandwidth operation, Helios delivers laboratory precision in a field portable lightweight rugged design. Helios’ short echo spacing (~200 us) enables high Signal-to-Noise Ratio and high accuracy measurement of water content across a wide variety of soil and rock shapes and sizes, as well as clays and unsaturated samples.

Users throughout the world have come to rely on Helios for fast, flexible and cost-effective characterization of soil and core samples for applications including:

  • Water resources
    • Determination of bound/mobile water fractions
    • Estimation of hydraulic conductivity
    • Development of NMR logging aquifer permeability models
  • Mining – moisture content in ore cuttings and core samples
  • Environmental remediation – detailed analysis of water-bearing properties of core samples
  • Geotechnical

Click here to view the Helios product specifications sheet.

Also, the two articles summarized below provide more detail on results that real-world professionals are achieving with Helios:

AEGC Article:
“Using Helios to test NMR response of iron ore chip samples”
The application of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) to investigate the distribution of moisture in materials has not normally been applied to iron ores due to the magnetic properties of iron. However recent test work on blast hole chip samples of iron ore using the very low field Helios system has shown that it is possible to obtain useful information on moisture content.  The key to obtaining useful results has been operating the Helios with “burst-mode”, replicating the style of data acquisition used in wireline NMR. The greatly increased signal-to-noise-ratio allowed for more robust inversions and more realistic representation of the moisture distribution in the samples being tested in a manageable time frame. This has allowed us to investigate the relationship between magnetic susceptibility and detected water content using the Helios.
Read the full article here.

Science Direct Article:
“The effect of magnetic susceptibility and magnetic field strength on porosity estimates determined from low-field nuclear magnetic resonance”

The presence of materials with high magnetic susceptibility are known to have an impact on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements and in laboratory data this often results in poor estimates of porosity from NMR data. To quantify and understand the cause of the poor NMR porosity estimations, in this laboratory study, we examine the effect of magnetic susceptibility, NMR measurement parameters, and NMR instrument design on NMR measurements. We conclude that differences is the magnetic field strength and higher magnetic field inhomogeneities in the 485 kHz NMR instrument contribute to a reduction of the impact of inhomogeneities in the magnetic field caused by materials with high magnetic susceptibility, allowing for improved porosity estimation. These results indicate that NMR measurements collected at short echo times in low, inhomogeneous static fields, e.g., borehole instruments, may provide accurate estimates of aquifer porosity in water saturated sediments, even in the presence of magnetic minerals.
Read the full article here.

For more info on Helios capabilities, applications and availability, contact us here.