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Sensors 2016, 16(12), 2169; doi:10.3390/s16122169

Autonomous Aeromagnetic Surveys Using a Fluxgate Magnetometer

1
Department of Computer Science, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte 31270-901, Brazil
2
Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Coordenação de Geofísica, Rio de Janeiro 20921-400, Brazil
3
Vale Institute of Technology, Ouro Preto 35400-000, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 September 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 17 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV-Based Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

Recent advances in the research of autonomous vehicles have showed a vast range of applications, such as exploration, surveillance and environmental monitoring. Considering the mining industry, it is possible to use such vehicles in the prospection of minerals of commercial interest beneath the ground. However, tasks such as geophysical surveys are highly dependent on specific sensors, which mostly are not designed to be used in these new range of autonomous vehicles. In this work, we propose a novel magnetic survey pipeline that aims to increase versatility, speed and robustness by using autonomous rotary-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). We also discuss the development of a state-of-the-art three-axis fluxgate, where our goal in this work was to refine and adjust the sensor topology and coupled electronics specifically for this type of vehicle and application. The sensor was built with two ring-cores using a specially developed stress-annealed CoFeSiB amorphous ribbon, in order to get sufficient resolution to detect concentrations of small ferrous minerals. Finally, we report on the results of experiments performed with a real UAV in an outdoor environment, showing the efficacy of the methodology in detecting an artificial ferrous anomaly. View Full-Text
Keywords: geophysical surveys; fluxgate magnetometer; autonomous vehicles; rotary-wing UAVs; drones in mining applications geophysical surveys; fluxgate magnetometer; autonomous vehicles; rotary-wing UAVs; drones in mining applications
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Macharet, D.G.; Perez-Imaz, H.I.A.; Rezeck, P.A.F.; Potje, G.A.; Benyosef, L.C.C.; Wiermann, A.; Freitas, G.M.; Garcia, L.G.U.; Campos, M.F.M. Autonomous Aeromagnetic Surveys Using a Fluxgate Magnetometer. Sensors 2016, 16, 2169.

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