Drone Based Metal Detector: Proof of concept

As an extension of a drone based Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) project the idea arose if it were possible to have a drone based metal detector.

I thought the idea silly at first but the initial numbers did not rule it out and extensive handheld testing with military grade detectors on real ordnance showed the idea may have some legs after all. If not for minimum metal AP mines, at least for the bigger stuff.

We settled on some standard detection electronics & coil which were customised and integrated with a H500 quadcopter testbed.  The first test flight showed we were definitely able to pick up the detections from relatively small (tennis ball size) metal objects.

Though this proves the core concept it is of course a long way away from being something that can be operationalised (if that makes sense at all), many challenges remain. In any case given the time and budget constraints it has definitely exceeded my expectations and has been a fun project so far,

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  • Any update on this one?

    Interested to see if I can use drones to find meteorites?

  • can you send me documentation / block diagram of this Drone Based Metal Detector, so that i made this for my final year project its humbly request !
  • Great your drone metal detector. Could safe lifes detecting booby traps . What do you think  about ?

    kind regards have nice weekend.


  • i am really thankful to you for this act of kindness

  • This is a really excellent work,,, i am doing Electronics Engineering can you send me documentation / block diagram of this Drone Based Metal Detector, so that i made this for my final year project its humbly request !

  • Thanks Adam, really interesting, thanks!

  • Hi Dirk, have you seen this http://www.suasnews.com/2015/11/39990/drones-for-groundwater-research/, your system looks a lot better and would receive a lot better response.  However due to the big weight of the payload, I'd say they would have a lot more transmitting power than yours.  You should also look up the company Geophex.

  • Thanks @leonardthall, will do

  • Developer


    Fantastic job. If you ever need help with setting up the control side of things just ping me.

  • Developer

    This is really excellent work.  Love the deployment mechanism.  Really really great use of drones and honored that you're using Ardupilot.

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