Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Near-surface Crustal Gravity and Magnetism: Drone, Air- and Ground-based measurements

Overall Course Objectives

Mapping the near sub-surface is critical to industries within large-scale onshore and offshore constructions and to the green tech raw materials industry in general. Often we need to know whether the subsurface contains hazardous waste, unexploded war remnants (bombs and landmines) or raw materials essential to, e.g. green-transition high-tech industries. The magnetic – and, to some degree, gravity – methods are non-invasive, fast and critical methods widely used to map the near-surface part of Earth’s crust for industrial applications. This course will combine a 2 days field campaign with background theory and technology information. The focus will be on the magnetic method but supplemented by gravity and surface mapping by photogrammetry. We learn about the pros and cons of new drone technologies versus traditional airplane and ground methods for mapping. We also learn about hardware design considerations for drone-based magnetic and gravity solutions, how to conduct drone- and ground-based field campaigns, choice of survey drones, technical-practical requirements for drone-based magnetic and gravity sensors, and the key to positioning your data precisely via GNSS. You will get experience in how to design surveys and acquire data, processing, modelling and analysis of the data, quality assurance of the data, and presentation of data. A selected field area in Denmark or southern Sweden will be used to work with different ground- and drone-borne survey systems (both magnetic, gravity and photogrammetry) and to acquire data for the final report (groups of 3-4 students). The data analyses will be combined with detailed surface information produced by drone-borne photogrammetry during the fieldwork. Exercises will be carried out during the course to demonstrate the methods needed to complete the mandatory report.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the background theory of magnetic and gravity data
  • Discuss engineering design criteria for drone-based technologies/sensors in relation to magnetic and gravity surveying
  • Discuss importance of real-time and post-processing GNSS positional precision of data and survey platforms
  • Design, plan and evaluate magnetic and gravity surveys – ground, drone and airborne
  • Operate selected magnetic and gravity sensor systems
  • Carry out basic processing of magnetic and gravity data acquired in the field and understand the quality and resolution of the data collected
  • Perform gridding, plotting and various enhancement techniques of data for optimal visualization of data
  • Evaluate photogrammetry surface models to reduce non-uniqueness in the interpretation of magnetic and gravity data
  • Carry out simple modelling of magnetic and gravity anomalies
  • Discuss pros and cons of drone, airborne and ground-based magnetic and gravity survey campaigns/data – also against satellite data
  • Report the results of the data collected in the field to a potential industrial client

Course Content

Drone-, ground and airborne gravity and magnetic sensor systems, design criteria for medium-sized drone sensor systems, potential field theory, survey planning and acquisition, sensor handling, gravity-, magnetic- and photogrammetry data processing and interpretation from fieldwork campaign, assessment of data quality and results, presentation to potential industrial end-client.

Recommended prerequisites

30201/30202/30230, Computer skills in Matlab/Python are important.

Teaching Method

Background technology & theory; Field work; Data processing and analysis; Reporting and Oral presentation of results from field work.


Limited number of seats

Maximum: 18.

Please be aware that this course has a limited number of seats available. If there are too many applicants, a pool will be created for the remainder of the qualified applicants, and they will be selected at random. You will be informed 8 days before the start of the course, whether you have been allocated a spot.

See course in the course database.





3 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 30710
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 23
Semester end Week 26
Days Mon-fri 8:00-17:00

7.500,00 DKK

Please note that this course has participants limitation. Read more