A Robust Calibration and Alignment Procedure for Collocated Magnetometer and Accelerometer Sensors


  1. Richards, T.C.
  2. Lucas, C.E.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Atlantic Research Centre, Halifax NS (CAN)
To simplify the task of aligning three-axis magnetometers to a horizontal, vertical, and magnetic north reference frame on the seafloor, as required for ship signature measurements, a three-axis accelerometer can be rigidly mounted to the magnetometer and the measured accelerations used to rotate the data to the required reference frame. We present a calibration procedure that corrects for scale and orthogonality errors of the magnetometer, computes a cross-talk and offset model for the accelerometer, and then determines rotation angles to align the magnetometer and accelerometer axes. The key to the procedure is the design of a solenoid which creates a highly uniform magnetic field over a large volume within the solenoid. The solenoid design begins with a conventional approach using equally spaced concentric loops with the same number of turns, but then allows the current in a number of the outer loops to vary over a continuous range (as required for optimization). Then for a realizable design, the optimum ampere turns are rounded to an integer value, and the magnetic field is re-optimized by varying the position of the same loops. After construction, the solenoid itself was calibrated using a scalar magnetometer. To determine the calibration coefficients the sensors under test are placed within the uniform magnetic field at a number of nominal orientations and a very low frequency current is applied. As the procedure works with the magnitudes of the magnetic and gravitation
magnetometer;accelerometer;calibration;alginment;solenoid;uniform magnetic field
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2015-N009 — External Literature
Date of publication
16 Jun 2015
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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