Aeromagnetic surveying with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is gaining momentum in the mineral exploration industry as various systems are emerging on the market. These systems are expected to provide high-resolution, small-size surveys flown at lower altitudes than traditional aircraft. One such system is the SkyLance UAS; a 20 kg rotary-wing system in its early stages of development that uses 8 battery-powered rotors for flight and carries a magnetic sensor mounted at the end of a long pole at the back of the system. An experimental aeromagnetic survey was flown by the SkyLance UAS over three prominent magnetic anomalies in Nash Creek, New Brunswick, Canada. The UAS was stable in flight, except during occasional wind gusts which created a transient magnetic noise, and acquired highly repeatable results. An average variation from line to line of (5.8 ± 1.7) nT was observed. The aeromagnetic data acquired by the UAS compared very well with upwardly continued ground magnetic data.

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Conference SEG International Exposition and 86th Annual Meeting, SEG 2016
Cunningham, M. (Michael), Samson, C, Wood, A. (Alan), Cook, I. (Ian), & Doyle, B. (Buddy). (2016). An experimental aeromagnetic survey with a rotary-wing unmanned aircraft system. In SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts (pp. 2129–2133). doi:10.1190/segam2016-13607329.1