The geology, natural resources and environment of the Westcountry are to be mapped in an aerial survey being led by the British Geological Survey.
Under the project Tellus South West, a small aircraft will fly across parts of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset to collect data from now until November.
The aim is to provide scientific data to benefit the economy, environment, agriculture, land management and health of the region.
It will also contribute to a greater understanding of natural hazards, such as landslides and flooding, and provide a baseline against which future environmental change can be measured.
The project is an initiative of the British Geological Survey (BGS), British Antarctic Survey, and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, working with Camborne School of Mines at the University of Exeter.
Dr Andrew Howard, from the BGS, said "What is Tellus South West all about? It's about understanding the complexities of our environment, and how we can adapt to change.
"It's about sustainable development and use of resources.
"It's about the legacy we leave for future generations in the South West peninsula of England".
Professor Frances Wall, of the Camborne School of Mines, added: "We are delighted to be involved in this survey that will help us understand the geology, natural resources and environment of South West England.
"Our role is to ensure that local researchers, companies, government and other organisations are fully aware of the survey so that they can gain maximum benefit from the results."
Flying was due to start this week. The aircraft will fly at 80 metres over open countryside and 250 metres or higher over towns and tall buildings.
The survey will be launched at an open day on August 8 at the Classic Airforce Museum in Newquay.