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Achieving sub-nanoTesla precision in multirotor UAV aeromagnetic surveys

August 21, 2022

An uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) multirotor aeromagnetic system using a 5-m sling load for a magnetic sensor system is described and characterized. Four magnetic surveys with identical flight lines were completed, at two nominal altitudes of 25 and 40 m. The surveys were used to assess the repeatability of data collected with the described UAV aeromagnetic system, and comparison with a ground survey was used to assess the precision. The 5-m sling is designed to reduce magnetic interference from the UAV. A magnetic compensation model was developed for this particular UAV aeromagnetic system. This custom compensation model reduces the noise in the collected data by a factor of five over the uncompensated data, and the 5-m sling further reduces the noise by an estimated factor of four over a similar system with a 3-m sling. The precision of the UAV aeromagnetic system was then estimated to be sub-nT, with 50% of the noise component <0.3 nT, and 90% <0.6 nT.

Publication Year 2022
Title Achieving sub-nanoTesla precision in multirotor UAV aeromagnetic surveys
DOI 10.1016/j.jappgeo.2022.104779
Authors Geoffrey Phelps, Robert E. Bracken, John Spritzer, David S. White
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Applied Geophysics
Index ID 70239233
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center