The partners are working on the new technology, known as Full Tensor Gradiometry (FTG) Plus, which will be 20 times more powerful than the current technology to determine the presence of potential oil, gas and minerals.

As part of the collaboration, Lockheed Martin will focus on building the prototype specifically to detect natural resources from Neos owned and operated aircraft.

The technology will have 20 times the sensitivity and 10 times greater bandwidth when compared to that of current gravity gradiometers.

Neos chairman Jonathan Faiman said: "FTG Plus transforms what we can do and what we can see from the air.

"Remote sensing is going to dominate the exploration market and with this sensor Neos will have the most advanced in the world. It will enable us to image resources cleaner, quicker and at a lower cost to our customers."

Neos said that the technology could change the way governments, energy ministries and exploration teams find valuable resources. This will result in faster, more informed decisions about where to explore, lease and drill.

Paleolog added: "At a time when so much marine seismic equipment is being cold-stacked, we will be able to use non-seismic technology with a new sensor 20 times better than anything we have ever seen before.

"This means we will find more resources, quicker and with more accuracy than ever before. It will be transformative."