UAV-Based   Aeromagnetics:   AARC51,   AARC52

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for aeromagnetic surveying has seen an important resurgence after early attempts in the mid-2000’s. This has been fueled, undoubtedly, by the multitude of platforms now available. The success of any endeavour to use UAVs for airborne magnetometry, however, is contingent on numerous factors. Ultimately, it is fundamental that high-quality data be generated, comparable to that of conventional aircraft. Compensation plays a central role in this, as the close proximity of the magnetometer sensor(s) to the various sources of interference is inevitable.

RMS Instruments’ aeromagnetic compensation systems for UAVs have achieved excellent performance in a variety of platforms. In particular, they routinely yield outstanding results in stinger-mounted installations on high-end, carefully designed and constructed single-rotor helicopter UAVs – residual errors are in-line with those typical of conventional (fixed-wing and helicopter) installations.

The AARC51 and AARC52 have been specifically designed for installation on UAV platforms. While very compact (133 x 133 x 216 mm) and light (< 2 Kg), they offer the same level of performance for real-time magnetics and compensation as other members of the family. They support one (AARC51) or two (AARC52) high-sensitivity magnetometer inputs, and require less than 3.5 A at +28 VDC, including the sensors. Basic general-purpose data acquisition is also included. While specifically targeted to UAV applications, the AARC51/52 are also perfectly suited for conventional fixed-wing or helicopter platforms.

Fixed-Installation vs Towed-Bird Aeromagnetics


   DESIGNED  FOR  UAV  PLATFORMS:  < 5.25 x 5.25 x 8.5 in, < 4.4 lb

  • Magnetometer interface and real-time compensation for one or two high-sensitivity sensors (Cs)
  • User-selectable front-end sampling rates, up to 1280 Hz
  • Magnetometer processor: 0.32 pT resolution, < 0.1 pT internal system noise
  • Proven, extremely robust compensation algorithms (AADCII legacy)
  • Adaptive signal processing techniques – improved compensation and simplified calibration procedures
  • User may customize Front End processing to specific installation requirements
  • Interface for external GPS receiver; embedded (dual-frequency) receiver (AARC52)
  • Raw and compensated data output & recording: up to 80 Hz
  • Post-flight compensation and calibration analysis functions
  • Dynamic compensation of on-board electronic systems
  • Real-time graphical output and user interface on any external display
  • Two analog inputs for radar/laser altimeter, etc.
  • Embedded barometric pressure and temperature sensors
  • Data acquisition via Ethernet
  • Full monitoring/control from any Windows device (via Ethernet, or through the Internet)
  • Features targeted to UAV applications
  • State-of-the-art HW & FW architecture based on advanced 64/32-bit processors
  • Real-time operating system (RTOS): QNX 6.5 (or greater)
  • +28 VDC; 3 A (AARC51), 3.5 A (AARC52)

   AARC51-based magnetometry on Flying-Cam's SARAH platform: (Courtesy of Flying-Cam)

 AARC51,52 Adaptive Aeromagnetic Real-Time Compensation for UAVs - data sheet PDF