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MagNIMBUS atomic total-field magnetometer

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Ultra-sensitive airborne integrated magnetometer system powered by QuSpin QTFM Gen-2 atomic total-field magnetometer sensors

Typical applications are:

  • Searching for UXO (unexploded ordnance) and landmines in metallic casings
  • Tramp metals and lost GET (ground engagement tools) detection
  • Locating buried infrastructure (metal pipes and shielded cables)
  • Environmental surveys for abandoned wells, pipes, and storage tanks quickly and with precise positioning
  • Geology and minerals prospecting: surveys for regional variations in the magnetic field
  • Archaeology

Unique system design allows to fly with extremely low surface-to-sensor clearance starting from just couple of dozens of centimeters. If the sensor will touch the ground or obstacle/vegetation that will not lead to the drone crash. That capability is extremely important for searching for small UXO items over the fields with vegetation.

Self-foldable sensor mount allows easy take-off and landing without excess requirements for drone operator qualification as it is for magnetic sensors on suspension cords.

System variants

MagNIMBUS comes in two possible configurations:

  • Gradiometer. This configuration simplifies data processing and makes magnetometer base station not necessary. Additional benefit – gradiometer makes possible magnetic surveys in proximity to the sources of EM fields like powerlines.
  • Configuration with single sensor with foldable mount. Detection capabilities are the same as for gradiometer setup, but requires more experienced specialists for data processing, magnetometer base station is recommended in some cases.

Main components of the system:

  • Recommended drone: DJI M350 RTK/M300 RTK. Standard kit comes with all mountings/cables for this drone, sets for other types of drones, including Pixhawk-based, are available by request.
  • Foldable mount with build-in QuSpin QTFM Gen-2 magnetic field sensor.
  • Mast with QuSpin QTFM Gen-2 sensor for vertical gradiometer configuration.
  • SkyHub onboard computer – acts as datalogger for magnetic field sensors and implements terrain following mode for DJI drones.
  • Altimeter (laser or radar).
  • UgCS Expert flight planning/management software.

Recommended software for data processing: Geosoft Oasis montaj.

UXO/landmines detection note

The system is capable to detect a range of items starting from hand grenades (the estimated sensor-target distance for detecting a target such as the F1 hand grenade is 1.0 m.) till big UXO like aerial bombs at the distance of few meters.

While the system is capable to detect some types of landmines (TM-62M, OZM-72 and similar types with considerable amount of ferrous metal), landmines search is not a direct application of the system as it can’t detect most of types of landmines. That means that the system never should be used to confirm absence of landmines (and small UXO) in certain area but it can be valuable asset during Non-Technical Survey (NTS) or Technical Survey (TS) to confirm presence of UXO/landmines with considerable amount of ferrous metals.

Data examples

Single-sensor configuration, UXO GeoMIL test range 

Single-sensor configuration, Balozi test field

Gradiometer configuration, Balozi test field


As MagNIMBUS is very versatile customisable magnetometer system, it may require different components to be used with particular drone. Also, different configurations available. Please request the quote to get tailored specification for equipment, software and services.

HS Code: 90158020 (meteorological, hydrological, geophysical instrument)

Size & weight of MagNIMBUS (single-sensor):

  • folded: 640x180x75 mm
  • unfolded: 1100x310x75 mm
  • weight: 570g
  • weight of mounting for DJI M350/M300: 100g

Transportation case:

  • dimensions: 846x427x167 mm
  • weight: 6.9 kg (with heavy payload mounting included) 

Lead time: 4-6 weeks