Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

A dedicated UAV magnetics survey system has been developed by Rada Engineering and operated through Thomson Airborne.

UAV custom built hexacopter.
Flown over 3,000 km.

UAV Magnetics is at the forefront of drone surveying in Australia, and has refined its technology and method to create a system that is fast, efficient and produces high-quality, high-resolution magnetic data for exploration tenements and mine sites.

The UAV Magnetics system will locate changes in rock types, and fault structures in a geological prospect which provide critical information for target discrimination, mine operations and mine planning. The system has a proven track record for mineral exploration targets, mineral exploration surveys, environmental surveys, and for detecting dykes and structures in coal operations.

The system has been developed as a result of years of expertise in airborne magnetics surveying, together with highly experienced UAV operators, and in conjunction with the custom magnetometer, is ideally suited for high-resolution magnetic surveys that are up to 2000 line km in size.

The custom-built hexacopter can fly autonomously for 1.5 hours at a range of 2km from the ground operator, and solves the significant safety risks associated with operating manned aircraft at low altitudes, or using traditional ground magnetics surveying techniques. This is a new generation of technology which is fast, safe and efficient.

New Custom built Fixed wing survey aircraft can fly using Beyond Visual Line of Sight technology (BVLOS) up to 5 km from base station for large area surveys.

Hexacopter Tethered Flight Testing

The current UAV magnetic survey system can
provide the following:

  • We provide 2 UAV systems now :
    1. 1) Hybrid Multirotor for small area extreme terrain conditions.
    2. 2) Fixed Wing for larger surveys in moderate terrain.
  • We have Capability to fly Beyond Line Of Sight ( BVLOS ) to allow
    surveying of large areas, or difficult terrain.
  • High resolution Magnetic data.
  • Safe lower altitude flying (reduced hazard to ground occupants and property).
  • Quiet operation over populated areas (reduced disturbance to ground
    occupants and livestock).
  • Terrain following with 3D way points.
  • Discriminate rock types.
  • Mapping of geological structures.
  • Coverage of up to 180 line km per day.
  • Low mobilisation – demobilisation costs (no time and costs involved due
    to aircraft equipment install and ferry to site).
  • A complete dataset over habitations (typically holes in data result as
    conventional aircraft must climb to a minimum of 500 feet over populated areas).

System Specifications

Fixed Wing UAV
Air Frame: 3m Fixed Wing Custom UAV.
Endurance: 2 Hrs.
Speed: 25 m/s 80 km/h.
Coverage: 140 km per flight.
Multirotor UAV
Air Frame: Hexacopter, UAV – Hybrid configuration.
Endurance: 1.5 hours.
Speed: Up to 15 m/s, 53 km/h.
Coverage: 50 line km flat terrain, or 30 km 3D terrain.
Magnetic Data Acquisition System
Sample rate: 50 Hz.
Sample interval: 0.05 – 0.3 metres.
Sensors: 3 Axis high sensitivity Fluxgates. MFAM , and Fluxgate options.
DAQ: 24 Bit synchronous ADC.
Sensor Magnetic Noise: +/- 0.15 nT.
LIDAR: 120m Range, Accuracy 5cm.
GPS: UBIox NEO-M8, 72 Ch. GPS.GLONASS, Accuracy 2m.
Data Monitoring: Real-time QC data transmission to base.
BVLOS CASA compliant UAV command and control
Fully Autonomous flight.
Latest Military Digital Uplink technology, Range 15 KM.
Real time flight tracking at base station.
Live video feed to base from UAV.
First Person View Camera for co-pilot.
Magnetic Compensation
Post-processed manoeuver compensation.

UAV and Magnetometer
sensor in flight.

UAV operator at the

UAV Sample Survey Results

For further information or a formal quote, please contact Paul Rogerson,
here at Thomson Airborne.