An autonomous

magnetic observatory

Gonsette, A.,

Rasson, J., Bracke, S., Poncelet, A., Hendrickx, O., Humbled,



Meteorological Institute of Belgium, Dourbes,



We report here on a first experience in

real-time remote automatic observatory. From June 2015 to February

2018, such a magnetic observatory was deployed in Aguada Pichana,

Argentina. Near real-time definitive data were provided to the Oil&Gas

industry. The observatory configuration was standard with a 3-axes

variometer, a scalar magnetometer and a Gyrodif. The latter is an

automatic DIFlux using an embedded FOG-based North-Seeker and an

electronic level for determining the geodetic references. Apart for

the True-North determination, the rest of the absolute measurement

procedure is conventional, e.g. based on 4 declination and 4

inclination fluxgate-based measurements. Each local mid-night a series

of magnetic measurements was performed while the rest of time was

devoted to the True-North determination. Both streams were then

combined to form the absolute measurements. The variometer baselines

were in turn adjusted and applied to the 1sec data. A permanent

satellite connection allowed the data transmission from Argentina to

Belgium in near real-time. This project was a proof of concept for

Oil&Gas industry but this automatic observatory setup could also serve

the scientific community by contributing to plugging the gaps in the

magnetic observatories coverage.