MAGMA: High Resolution Magnetic Field Model from UAV Measurements

MAGMA is an R&D project that brings together a novel concept to improve the state of the art in the magnetometry field. The proposed concept aims at implementing vector magnetometers on board Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV or drone, to supply innovative magnetic maps with information not only of the magnitude of the magnetic field but also of its orientation.

Magnetic surveys are an important geophysical tool capable of extracting information about surface and subsurface rocks in a non-invasive (contactless) way. This technique has an enormous potential to identify rock composition, geological processes and crustal structures not only on Earth but also on other planetary bodies and their moons. The project could solve some of the open questions on the crustal evolution within the Solar System, like the disputed origin of high energy cratering, the magnetic signature of ore formation processes, the highly intense anomalies of Mars and the origin of Phobos and Deimos. All this would be possible through a new conception of models based on the scalar magnetic potential of the geological structure as a whole.

NFQ, INTA and Quasar have got together to develop MAGMA. INTA Space Magnetism Team (ISMT) leads the scientific and technological aspects of the project MAGMA. Quasar will add to the project its expertise in the development of software tools for scientific projects. In particular Quasar will develop a drone operations centre that will be able to allow the remote operation of the drone and its scientific instrument, perform the planning of the measurement campaigns as well as the collection, preparation and delivery of the scientific data. The project will run over two years, 2017 and 2018.

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