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UAV Solutions

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Complete Solutions for UAV

UAV Platforms FOR Magnetic SURVEYING

Helicopter, Quadcopter, and Fixed Wing UAV Platforms

An Introduction to the UAV Market

Unmanned Airborne Vehicles are pilot-less aircraft that are flown on military, police and now commercial missions for a variety of applications. They have gained rapid acceptance and popularity as they are relatively inexpensive, collect good quality data, and they can be equipped with many kinds of sensors, ranging from simple cameras to complex geophysical equipment such as magnetometers and gradiometers.

Driven initially by military applications, UAV platforms such as helicopter, multi-copter, and fixed wing have evolved significantly in the last ten years. With improvements in efficiency, range, size, and payload, UAVs are able to service new markets. The UAV trend is growing quickly, as more and more commercial applications are uncovered.

UAVs are well-suited for a diverse set of geophysical applications. The autonomous unmanned aircraft is excellent for mapping mineral deposits, mapping pipelines and other buried infrastructure, surveying hydro lines for breaks, as well as police missions involving detection of small buried arms or buried “fresh” graves. Other applications include unexploded ordnance detection (UXO), engineering and environmental work.

UAV technology is no longer the future, and GEM Systems welcomes you to discover the many advantages our UAV solutions have to offer.

How does UAV compare to ground and airborne surveys?

GEM System’s AirBIRD
towed by the GEM Hawk UAV
flying an autonomous survey
in Niagara, Canada.

The potential for drones to replace ground and airborne surveys in many cases is becoming more apparent. The evidence that a UAV survey is more efficient, cost effective, and safer than the previous methods is irrefutable. Below we offer some comparisons between drones, ground and airborne surveying.

Drones vs Ground Surveys

In one day, a ground operator can walk roughly 10-15 line kilometers of a mag survey. To do a grid of 100 line kilometers, it would take the operator roughly 10 days. A UAV can collect 100 line kilometers of data in less than one day.

Considering the costs to support a human operator for 10 days, it is obvious that a drone survey is more cost effective. A drone survey also mitigates the safety concern associated with a ground survey performed by humans.

In comparing data between ground and UAV surveys, there are several factors. Drone surveys will fly higher than ground surveys and therefore the magnetic signal would be slightly reduced. However the density of the data collected from a drone, both along line and between tightly spaced lines is far greater than that collected from a ground survey. The ground survey is also susceptible to near surface noise, such as boulders and operator shake.

Drones vs Airborne Surveys

Mineral exploration is a natural fit for a UAV for a number of reasons. Manned flights in remote areas are dangerous and cost significant resources to support, including mechanics, fuel dumps and more. UAVs are easier to launch, mobilize, set up and refuel. Moreover, UAVs can fly in most weather and at night – giving significant productivity gains over conventional airborne surveys.

Planes are well suited for the execution of surveys in the range of 1000 line kilometers to 50,000 line kilometers. Whereas an airborne survey provides clean quality data, safety restrictions force the plane to fly at a minimum of 300 ft in most cases, and at a line spacing of typically 100 m. With a drone, flight altitude is less, typically 100 ft, and line spacing can now be effectively flown at 10 m. This creates a level of information not yet seen in the exploration world. This kind of detail will ultimately lead to new understandings and discoveries.

Key Component of an Effective UAV Magnetometer System

Development of the MONARCH fixed wing Gradiometer
allowed GEM Systems potassium sensors to become
Ultra Light Weight. Now these redesigned sensors
are used across all UAV platforms.

GEM’s ultra light weight Potassium Magnetometer technology has been proven on Fixed Wing, Helicopter, and Multicopter systems and has demonstrated the absolute best heading error in the industry.

Part of its success is due to its components which are specially designed for high resolution and noise-free data. Responses of a dipolar target fall off as the inverse cube of distance. The farther the sensor is from the source, the smaller the signal. This can be compensated for by using an ultra-sensitive magnetometer such as the Potassium optically pumped version.

Development of the Monarch UAV gradiometer plane, lead to advances in our Potassium Technology that ultimately made our high sensitivity sensor smaller and lighter.

The GEM GSMP 35U Potassium UAV magnetometer is at the core of our UAV offering.


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