In September 2022, #Radai tested the drone platform that is going to be used during the development and test surveys of its drone-based electromagnetic survey system in the DroneSOM project.

The drone test flights were conducted only using the quadcopter mode at Ahmosuo airfield in Oulu. The idea was to test how the drone behaves under load and if the system concept works as planned when the drone is kept hovering above the ground.

To prevent costly damages, a dummy payload (dummy EM receiver) was used to test and validate the VTOL plane’s ability to handle this kind of hanging payload. First, it was necessary to see if the plane was capable to lift the 2 kg payload. The second, concern was the drone’s ability to fly with the towed payload at a speed of over 20 m/s.

Timo Åman was the drone pilot who prepared the drone and the dummy EM receiver. Tuomas Koivurova was the field operator who assisted the pilot monitored the flight via telemetry information from the plane.

The test flights with the dummy weight showed that the selected VTOL drone frame (AYK-250), motor (Scorpion CCC IV4), EM receiver birdie (dummy), and the new propeller (17×6) functioned well with each other. The results present, that this concept is working, and the VTOL platform can carry the EM receiver birdie for over one hour. The drone flies over 80 kilometers whith in this hour, which can be considered a good result for the first version of the drone-based EM system.

The Louhi EM system is competitive for a potential market-ready product!