Many authors have discussed the utility of multicomponent measurements. Generally speaking, the vertical component couples to horizontal bodies while the in-line component couples best to vertical targets. For layered-earth cases, helicopter EM systems have little or no in-line component response and as a result much of the in-line signal is due to receiver coil rotation and appears as noise. In contrast to this, the in-line component of a fixed-wing airborne electromagnetic (AEM) system can be substantial, exceeding the vertical component in conductive areas. In this paper I compare the in-line and vertical response of a fixed-wing system to a halfspace and show the sensitivity functions. I then calculate the expected inversion model parameter uncertainty, showing that the use of both components better resolves model properties. I then compare inversion using both components to vertical component alone, providing an example using field data from the oil sands region of Canada.


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