Advanced Magnetometer System

Dr. Rahul Mhaskar | Geometrics



The objective of this project is to enable integration of miniature laser-pumped cesium magnetometers with Time-Domain Electromagnetic (TDEM) systems by improving the magnetometer sensor to function in presence of an EM transmitter. An array of DC magnetometers can also be operated to measure the response of magnetic induction of the target to an EM pulse. This will be accomplished by further utilizing the unique capabilities of integrated sensor electronics, as well as by processing the individual signals from those elements. These developments will also enable investigation of using transmitted magnetic fields of differing directions as a novel method of discrimination. Specific technical objectives are as follows:

  1. Evaluate, through simulations and laboratory experiments, advanced methods of signal extraction in the scalar magnetometer instrument.
  2. Implement advanced methods of operating the sensors to obtain rapid DC magnetometer measurements in the presence of a TDEM system.
  3. Investigate the possibility of discrimination using DC magnetic measurements, probing in different directions, in a manner analogous to advanced TDEM systems.

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Technical Approach

Ongoing developments in integrating, miniaturizing and digitizing sensor electronics allow for novel methods of interrogating the sensors. The digital signal processing involved in the magnetometer operation also provides an avenue to analyze the dynamic behavior of the magnetic field. Combining the analysis of spatial, temporal, and directional information of the magnetic field in real-time can lead to robust operation in presence of an EM pulse and opens up possibilities to supplement and enhance the unexploded ordnance (UXO) discrimination capabilities of DC magnetometry as well as advanced EM systems.

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An array of miniature magnetometers together with the real-time target analysis capability previously developed can be packaged into a compact and easily maneuverable system. Advanced EM systems have proven to be effective in discriminating munitions of concern from scrap metal items. Combining a real-time tracking DC magnetometer system with the high frequency AC measurement would have the advantage of steering the operator towards the target and yielding detailed target properties. Measuring the magnetic induction response can improve classification capabilities of the system. These enhancements should lead to faster surveys in an underwater environment with high confidence in the interpretation of measurements for UXO discrimination. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2018)

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Points of Contact

Principal Investigator

Dr. Rahul Mhaskar


Phone: 408-428-4280

Program Manager

Munitions Response