Underwater survey work is frequently carried out using autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). The benefits of using AUVs are that they are programmed to carry out missions without intervention, can fly at consistent low altitudes to achieve high resolution measurements, and are not as sensitive to surface conditions as a tethered system.
AUVs can be equipped with a wide range of sensors, including side-scan sonar, multi-beam echo sounders, sub-bottom profilers and cameras. Magnetometer surveys are conducted routinely
in mining and petroleum resource exploration, archaeological surveys, and for detecting and locating pipelines and other seabed or buried ferrometallic objects.
Magnetometers have always been a particular challenge to mount on AUVs, because of their strong magnetic signatures and strict power budgets, until now. Towing the Explorer AUV Magnetometer behind the AUV solves this challenge due it its small size, low drag and 2 watt power requirement.
During the week of February 11th to February 17th, 2018, Teledyne Gavia and Marine Magnetics carried out a trial with the Gavia AUV towing the Explorer AUV Mag. This trial showed that the magnetometer can detect targets weighing as little as 1kg.