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Sensors 2019, 19(2), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19020280

Magnetometer Calibration and Field Mapping through Thin Plate Splines

Department of Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering, University of Bologna, Viale del Risorgimento, 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy
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Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

While the undisturbed Earth’s magnetic field represents a fundamental information source for orientation purposes, magnetic distortions have been mostly considered as a source of error. However, when distortions are temporally stable and spatially distinctive, they could provide a unique magnetic landscape that can be used in different applications, from indoor localization to sensor fusion algorithms for attitude estimation. The main purpose of this work, therefore, is to present a method to characterize the 3D magnetic vector in every point of the measurement volume. The possibility of describing the 3D magnetic field map through Thin Plate Splines (TPS) interpolation is investigated and demonstrated. An algorithm for the simultaneous estimation of the parameters related to magnetometer calibration and those describing the magnetic map, is proposed and tested on both simulated and real data. Results demonstrate that an accurate description of the local magnetic field using TPS interpolation is possible. The proposed procedure leads to errors in the estimation of the local magnetic direction with a standard deviation lower than 1 degree. Magnetometer calibration and magnetic field mapping could be integrated into different algorithms, for example to improve attitude estimation in highly distorted environments or as an aid to indoor localization. View Full-Text
Keywords: movement analysis; wearable sensors; magnetometer calibration; Earth’s magnetic field mapping; thin plate splines movement analysis; wearable sensors; magnetometer calibration; Earth’s magnetic field mapping; thin plate splines
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Muraccini, M.; Mangia, A.L.; Lannocca, M.; Cappello, A. Magnetometer Calibration and Field Mapping through Thin Plate Splines. Sensors 2019, 19, 280.

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