We review stationary and mobile systems that are used for the nondestructive evaluation of room temperature objects and are based on superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs). The systems are optimized for samples whose dimensions are between 10 micrometers and several meters. Stray magnetic fields from small samples (10 µm–10 cm) are studied using a SQUID microscope equipped with a magnetic flux antenna, which is fed through the walls of liquid nitrogen cryostat and a hole in the SQUID’s pick-up loop and returned sidewards from the SQUID back to the sample. The SQUID microscope does not disturb the magnetization of the sample during image recording due to the decoupling of the magnetic flux antenna from the modulation and feedback coil. For larger samples, we use a hand-held mobile liquid nitrogen minicryostat with a first order planar gradiometric SQUID sensor. Low-Tc
DC SQUID systems that are designed for NDE measurements of bio-objects are able to operate with sufficient resolution in a magnetically unshielded environment. High-Tc
DC SQUID magnetometers that are operated in a magnetic shield demonstrate a magnetic field resolution of ~4 fT/√Hz at 77 K. This sensitivity is improved to ~2 fT/√Hz at 77 K by using a soft magnetic flux antenna.
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