Innovative and cost-effective deep exploration through magnetic measurements from an unmanned airplane



Swedish Geological AB


Håkan Tarras-Wahlberg



Purpose and goal
The projects aim was to test geophysical data (magnetic data) collection by using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is called “the Remote Mapper”. The aim was to ascertain whether it is possible to collect better quality data, at a lower cost, compared to traditional methods of airborne geophysical data collection.

Structure and implementation
The project included the following main components: (i) application for a permit to fly the Remote Mapper from the Swedish Transport Agency; (ii) planning and site investigations, performed in cooperation with LKAB; (iii) data collection at Mertainen; and (iv) analysis and interpretation of the data collected.

The UAV data collection was done in cooperation with LKAB. The test was performed at the Mertainen mine, near Svappavaara town. An area of 800 x 600 m was flown at an altitude of 100 m, and with a line spacing of 20 m. The data analysis that followed revealed that the data collected was of high quality, and that it allowed for a better and more detailed interpretation of both lithology and structure, compared to data that had previously been collected by the Geological Survey of Sweden using traditional data collection from a fixed wing aircraft.