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Senin, 22 Juni 2009

Magnetometer I Uses I Types I Fluxgate magnetometer


Magnetometer
A magnetometer is a scientific instrument used to measure the strength and/or direction of the magnetic field in the vicinity of the instrument. Magnetism varies from place to place and differences in Earth's magnetic field (the magnetosphere) can be caused by the differing nature of rocks and the interaction between charged particles from the Sun and the magnetosphere of a planet. Magnetometers are often a frequent component instrument on spacecraft that explore planets.

Uses
Magnetometers are used in geophysical surveys to find deposits of iron because they can measure the magnetic field variations caused by the deposits, using airplanes like the Shrike Commander. Magnetometers are also used to detect archaeological sites, shipwrecks and other buried or submerged objects. Magnetic anomaly detectors detect submarines for military purposes.

They are used in directional drilling for oil or gas to detect the azimuth of the drilling tools near the drill bit. They are most often paired up with accelerometers in drilling tools so that both the inclination and azimuth of the drill bit can be found.

Magnetometers are very sensitive, and can give an indication of possible auroral activity before one can see the light from the aurora. A grid of magnetometers around the world constantly measures the effect of the solar wind on the Earth's magnetic field, which is published on the K-index.
In space exploration
A three-axis fluxgate magnetometer was part of the Mariner 2 and Mariner 10 missions. A dual technique Magnetometer is part of the Cassini-Huygens mission to explore Saturn. This system is composed of a vector helium and fluxgate magnetometers. Magnetometers are also a component instrument on the Mercury MESSENGER mission. A magnetometer can also be used by satellites like GOES to measure both the magnitude and direction of a planet's or moon's magnetic field.

Types
Magnetometers can be divided into two basic types:

Scalar magnetometers measure the total strength of the magnetic field to which they are subjected, and

Vector magnetometers have the capability to measure the component of the magnetic field in a particular direction.

The use of three orthogonal vector magnetometers allows the magnetic field strength, inclination and declination to be uniquely defined. Examples of vector magnetometers are fluxgates, superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs), and the atomic SERF magnetometer. Some scalar magnetometers are discussed below.

A magnetograph is a special magnetometer that continuously records data.

Rotating coil magnetometer
The magnetic field induces a sine wave in a rotating coil. The amplitude of the signal is proportional to the strength of the field, provided it is uniform, and to the sine of the angle between the rotation axis of the coil and the field lines. This type of magnetometer is obsolete.
Hall effect magnetometer

The most common magnetic sensing devices are solid-state Hall effect sensors. These sensors produce a voltage proportional to the applied magnetic field and also sense polarity.
Proton precession magnetometer

One type of magnetometer is the proton precession magnetometer, also known as the proton magnetometer, which measures the resonance frequency of protons (hydrogen nuclei) in the magnetic field to be measured, due to Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).

A direct current flowing in an inductor creates a strong magnetic field around a hydrogen-rich fluid, causing the protons to align themselves with that field. The current is then interrupted, and as protons are realigned with Earth's magnetic field they precess at a specific frequency. This produces a weak alternating magnetic field that is picked up by a (sometimes separate) inductor. The relationship between the frequency of the induced current and the strength of Earth's magnetic field is called the proton gyromagnetic ratio, and is equal to 0.042576 hertz per nanotesla (Hz/nT).

Because the precession frequency depends only on atomic constants and the strength of the external magnetic field, the accuracy of this type of magnetometer is very good. Magnetic impurities in the sensor and errors in the measurement of the frequency are the two causes of errors in these magnetometers.

If several tens of watts are available to power the aligning process, these magnetometers can be moderately sensitive. Measuring once per second, standard deviations in the readings in the 0.01 nT to 0.1 nT range can be obtained.

The strength of the Earth's magnetic field varies with time and location, so that the frequency of Earth's field NMR (EFNMR) for protons varies between approximately 1.5 kHz near the equator to 2.5 kHz near the geomagnetic poles.

The measurement of the precession frequency of proton spins in a magnetic field can give the value of the field with high accuracy and is widely used for that purpose. In low fields, such as the Earth's magnetic field, the NMR signal is weak because the nuclear magnetization is small, and specialised electronic amplifiers must be used to enhance the signal. Incorporated in existing portable magnetometers, these devices make them capable of measuring fields to an absolute accuracy of about one part in 106 and detecting field variations of about 0.1 nT. Typical variation of Earth's field strength at a particular location during its daily rotation is about 25nT (i.e. about 1 part in 2,000), with variations over a few seconds of typically around 1nT (i.e. about 1 part in 50,000).

Apart from the direct measurement of the magnetic field on Earth or in space, these magnetometers prove to be useful to detect variations of magnetic field in space or in time, caused by submarines, skiers buried under snow, archaeological remains, and mineral deposits
Fluxgate magnetometer

A fluxgate magnetometer consists of a small, magnetically susceptible, core wrapped by two coils of wire. An alternating electrical current is passed through one coil, driving the core through an alternating cycle of magnetic saturation, i.e., magnetised - unmagnetised - inversely magnetised - unmagnetised - magnetised. This constantly changing field induces an electrical current in the second coil, and this output current is measured by a detector. In a magnetically neutral background, the input and output currents will match. However, when the core is exposed to a background field, it will be more easily saturated in alignment with that field and less easily saturated in opposition to it. Hence the alternating magnetic field, and the induced output current, will be out of step with the input current. The extent to which this is the case will depend on the strength of the background magnetic field. Often, the current in the output coil is integrated, yielding an output analog voltage, proportional to the magnetic field.
Fluxgate magnetometers, paired in a gradiometer configuration, are commonly used for archaeological prospection. In Britain the most common such instruments to be used are the Geoscan FM series of instruments and the Bartington GRAD601. Both are capable of resolving magnetic variations as weak as 0.1 nT (roughly equivalent to one half-millionth of the Earth's magnetic field strength).

A wide variety of sensors are currently available and used to measure magnetic fields. Fluxgate magnetometers and gradiometers measure the direction and magnitude of magnetic fields. Fluxgates are affordable, rugged, compact and very low-power making them ideal for a variety of sensing applications. Fluxgate magnetometer sensors are manufactured in several geometries and recently have made significant improvements in noise performance, crossfield tolerance and power utilization

The typical fluxgate magnetometer consists of a "sense" (secondary) coil surrounding an inner "drive" (primary) coil that is wound around permeable core material. Billingsley Aerospace & Defense, Inc. currently manufactures four types of sensors: ring core, rod / Förster, racetrack and the recently developed Single Domain. Each sensor has magnetic core elements that can be viewed as two carefully matched halves. An alternating current is applied to the drive winding, which drives the core into plus and minus saturation. The instantaneous drive current in each core half is driven in opposite polarity with respect to any external magnetic field. In the absence of any external magnetic field, the flux in one core half cancels that in the other and the total flux seen by the sense coil is zero. If an external magnetic field is now applied, it will, at a given instance in time, aid the flux in one core half and oppose flux in the other. This causes a net flux imbalance between the halves, so that they no longer cancel one another. Current pulses are now induced in the sense winding on every drive current phase reversal (or at the 2nd, and all even harmonics). This results in a signal that is dependent on both the external field magnitude and polarity.

There are additional factors that affect the size of the resultant signal. These factors include the number of turns in the sense winding, magnetic permeability of the core, sensor geometry and the gated flux rate of change with respect to time. Phase synchronous detection is used to convert these harmonic signals to a DC voltage proportional to the external magnetic field.
Fluxgate magnetometers were invented in the 1930s by Victor Vacquier at Gulf Research Laboratories; Vacquier applied them during World War II as an instrument for detecting submarines, and after the war confirmed the theory of plate tectonics by using them to measure shifts in the magnetic patterns on the sea floor.

Source: Wikipedia

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