MSc thesis project proposal

Skydowser, drone based drinkwater survey

Insight in groundwater is of vital importance. Not only for The Netherlands, for which water has been the prime national enemy for a long time, but even more for countries around the globe dealing with increasingly severe water shortages and droughts. Electromagnetic (EM) surveys are widely considered to be the best solution for acquiring groundwater data that is needed for proper water management.
Delft based start-up WaterMappers has joined forces with Delft University of Technology to develop the first UAV-borne EM sensor: The SkyDowser. The Skydowser will enable easy and efficient groundwater exploration around the world.
The UAV uses coils to induce an electromagnetic field. The subsurface responds to this induced electromagnetic current with a varying magnetic field, inducing current in the receiver coil. These electromagnetic signals give, after calculation, a value for the apparent conductivity of the subsurface. If this is done for different frequencies at the same time a depth profile can be calculated after solving a data inversion problem. The resulting data can be used to create 3D representations of the groundwater table and to give an estimate of the salinity of the water.
The measurement system needs to be able to quickly measure and analyze the signals coming from the measurement coils. A purely digital, DSP based (Digital Signal processing), system needs such a high data throughput that it becomes impractical. Therefore a hybrid solution, which is partial analog and partial digital (DSP) seems to be the right solution. The electronics and DSP-algorithms need to be developed. The goal of this MSc project will be to improve the complete system.

Contact Andre Bossche

Electronic Instrumentation Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2020-02-04