Aeromagnetic Surveying with Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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  • UASs have been under rapid development for applications in the mineral exploration industry, mainly for aeromagnetic surveying. They provide improved detection of smaller, deeper and weakly magnetic targets. A traditional system flying an altitude of 100m above ground level can detect a spherical ore body at a depth of 40m and magnetic susceptibility of 10-4, with a radius of ~16m. A UAS flying at 50m or 2m altitude AGL would require the radius to be 11m or 5m, respectively. Using the Venturer fixed-wing UAS and the SkyLance rotary-wing UAS, two aeromagnetic surveys were performed. The Venturer was stable in flight with a fourth difference noise level within industry standards of ±0.05nT. A magnetic map was produced showing local variations. The SkyLance flew over a zinc deposit with 3 magnetic anomalies. It produced repeatable data that compared well with upward continuation maps of ground magnetic data.

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  • Copyright © 2016 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2016


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