Using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for airborne magnetometry offers not only improved access and rapid sampling but also reduced logistics costs. More importantly, the UAV-borne aeromagnetometry can be performed at low altitudes, which makes it possible to resolve fine features otherwise only evident in ground surveys. Developing such a UAV-borne aeromagnetometry system is challenging owing to strong magnetic interference introduced by onboard electric and electronic components. An experiment concerning the static magnetic interference of the UAV was conducted to assess the severity of the interference of a hybrid vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV. The results of the static experiment show that the wing area is highly magnetic due to the proximity to servomotors and motors, whereas the area along the longitudinal axis of the UAV has a relatively smaller magnetic signature. Assisted by the static experiment and aerodynamic simulations, we first proposed a front-mounting solution with two compact magnetometers. Subsequently, two dynamic experiments were conducted with the setup to assess the dynamic interference of the system. The results of the dynamic experiments reveal that the strongest source of in-flight magnetic interference is the current-carrying cables connecting the battery to the flight controller and that this effect is most influential during pitch maneuvers of the aircraft.
|Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems
|Published - 2021