Development and Evaluation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Magnetometry Systems

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Date
2016-11-02
Authors
Parvar, Kiyavash
Keyword
Mineral Exploration , Magnetic Signature , Magnetometry , UAV
Abstract
In this thesis, the procedure of conducting magnetic surveys from a UAV platform is investigated. In the process of evaluating UAVs for such surveys, magnetic sensors capable of operating on a UAV platform were tested using a terrestrial survey, as well as on a UAV-platform. Results were then compared to a model of the area generated using a proton precession magnetometer. Magnetic signature of the UAVs are discussed and impact values are calculated. For a better understanding of the magnetic fields around UAVs some micro-surveys were conducted with the help of a fluxgate magnetometer around two UAVs. Results of such surveys were used to determine a location to mount the magnetometer during the survey. A test survey over a known anomaly (a visible chromite outcrop in Oman) is conducted in order to determine the feasibility of using UAV-based magnetometry for chromite exploration. Observations were taken at two different elevations in order to generate a 3-D model of the magnetic field. Later, after applying upward continuation filters and comparing the calculated results to the real values, the reliability and uncertainty levels of such filters were investigated. Results show that magnetometery on UAV platforms is feasible. Unwanted signals can be noticeable and produce fake anomalies by the end of each line because of the swinging effect of the suspended magnetometer below the UAV. This should be reduced by hardware and software modifications i.e. applying non-linear filters and mounting the sensor on a rigid rod. Also, it was derived that the error level associated with upward continuation filters exceeds 45% and thus, using such filters instead of actual observations is not suggested in gradiometry. Moreover, 3-D magnetic gradient surveys can be beneficial for future inversion problems.
External DOI