Recently, NOVAerial Robotics Inc. has been working on operational development of airborne magnetometer surveying with several customers. This technique is typically used by the mining industry to search for magnetic anomalies in the ground which could indicate the location of valuable mineral deposits.
Historically, this has been done either with surveyors walking with a hand-held sensor. Or large areas can be surveyed by manned helicopter. UAV surveys present an alternative to fill in the gap between the small areas typically covered by walkers, and large areas covered by full-size helicopters. In addition, UAV surveys results can be superior to these other methods. UAV’s can be flown closer to the ground, resulting in higher resolution data. And UAV’s can survey small areas which are not accessible to manned surveys due to rugged terrain, swamps, etc.
Helicopter Drones are uniquely suited to this type of UAV operation. Compact systems capable of lifting heavy payloads, and VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) allow much easier field deployment compared to fixed-wing systems. And the flight stability and efficient forward flight are far superior to multirotor options.
The Procyon 800E system has proven capability of flying at 15 m/s autonomously, for over 35 minutes plus reserve, while sling-loading this 3.5kg sensor, in real-world testing.