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Advantages of Magnetometer sensor | disadvantages of Magnetometer sensor

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Magnetometer sensor. It mentions Magnetometer sensor advantages or benefits and Magnetometer sensor disadvantages or drawbacks.

What is Magnetometer sensor?

• It measures magnetic field and used with other components to make magnetometer instrument.
• It measures magnetic flux density (B) in units of Tesla or Wb/m2 or kg/(A * s2).
• Magnetometers are used to detect fluctuations in the magnetic field of the earth.

magnetometer sensor

• It is classified into two types viz. scalar and vector.
• Vector magnetometer measures flux density in specific direction in three dimensional space. Example: fluxgate magnetometer.
• Scalar magnetometer measures total strength of the magnetic field.
• Chip based magnetometers are usually vector type which contains three sensors mounted orthogonally i.e. each of them at 90 degrees to the other two.
• It is used for various scientific purposes and for navigation and more. It is also used in smart phones as compass.
• Magnetometer sensors are used along with microcontrollers.
• Refer Article on magnetometer basics and types >> for more information.

There are different types of magnetometer as per its working principles and constructions viz. coil magnetometer, hall sensor magnetometer, magnetoresistive sensor, magnetostrictive sensor, fluxgate magnetometer, proton magnetometer overhauser magnetometer, optically pumped magnetometer, Squid magnetometer etc. Hence advantages and disadvantages of these types vary. We will go through generic merits and demerits.

Benefits or advantages of Magnetometer sensor

Following are the benefits or advantages of Magnetometer sensor:
➨It can be used throughout the orbit i.e. sunside and darkside.
➨It consumes low power.
➨It is relatively affordable sensor.
➨It is very easy to use it in conjunction with microcontrollers due to I2C and SPI interfaces.
➨It offers wide magnetic field range of measurement.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Magnetometer sensor

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Magnetometer sensor:
➨Magnetometers are sensitive to their environment. It induces magnetic bias of two types viz. hard iron bias and soft iron bias. Hard iron bias is caused by magnetized material inside the device. Soft iron bias is caused by interaction between variation in magnetic field of earth and materials inside a magnetometer. Example of soft iron bias is power lines which generate magnetic field which can affect drones and aircrafts using magnetometers.
➨Mounting of chip based magnetometer on a board is critical. The field effects of transformers or relays must be taken into account. Low voltage and low current in a circuit trace can create magnetic field sufficient enough to disturb a chip.
➨It can not be used with magneto torquers.
➨It does not provide much precision.

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