SPH Engineering provides drone-integrated metal detection

January 11, 2021  - By
Screenshot: UgSC

Screenshot: UgSC

SPH Engineering has launched a drone-integrated metal detection system with a Geonics EM61Lite metal detector, a new product of UgCS Industrial Solutions. The same performance and robustness available for users of the standard EM61-MK2 time domain metal detector are now available for airborne use.

The new system is capable of detecting metallic (magnetic and non-magnetic) items in the first few meters under the surface, finding metallic objects in hard-to-reach or dangerous areas.

Applications include unexploded ordnance (UXO) search, detection of underground infrastructure and archaeology. The integrated system has been extensively tested at SPH Engineering’s test range, and has shown excellent performance and repeatability for targets such as pipes (steel, stainless steel, reinforced concrete) and steel drums.

The system uses an airborne (less heavy) modification of the Geonics EM61-MK2 ground metal detector. The EM61 Lite airborne variant integrates with the UgCS SkyHub onboard computer and ground control station.

Features include automatic data logging in geotagged form and automatic terrain following with radar altimeter. The use of UgCS SkyHub enables the drone to fly in true terrain following (TTF) mode with the help of the radar altimeter and to log geotagged sensor data.

An optional RTK/PPK GNSS receiver on the drone will geotag the data with centimeter-level precision.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.