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Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2018-36
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2018-36
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 Oct 2018

Research article | 23 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems (GI).

A Network of Magnetometers for Multi-Scale Urban Science and Informatics

Trevor A. Bowen1,2, Elena Zhivun3,1, Arne Wickenbrock4, Vincent Dumont1, Stuart D. Bale1,2, Christopher Pankow5, Gregory Dobler6, Jonathan S. Wurtele7, and Dmitry Budker1,4,7,8 Trevor A. Bowen et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-7300, USA
  • 2Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-7300, USA
  • 3Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1150 University Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA
  • 4Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • 5Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration & Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
  • 6Center for Urban Science and Progress, New York University, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
  • 7Helmholtz Institut Mainz, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • 8Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720

Abstract. The magnetic signature of an urban environment is investigated using a geographically distributed network of fluxgate magnetometers deployed in and around Berkeley, California. The system hardware and software are described and initial operations of the network are reported. The sensors measure vector magnetic fields at a 3,960Hz sample rate and are sensitive to 0.1nT/√Hz. Data from individual stations are synchronized to ±120μs using GPS and computer system clocks and automatically uploaded to a central server. We present the initial observations of the network as well as preliminary efforts to correlate sensors. A wavelet analysis is used to study observations of the urban magnetic field over a wide range of temporal scales. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is identified as dominant signal in our observations, exhibiting both aspects of broadband noise and coherent periodic features. Significant differences are observed in both day/night and weekend/weekday signatures. A superposed epoch analysis is used to study and extract the BART signal.

Trevor A. Bowen et al.
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Trevor A. Bowen et al.
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Short summary
We highlight the development of a low cost portable sensor array to study magnetic fields in urban areas. Recent advancements in urban science have demonstrated significant utility of characterizing a city based on physical measurements. Magnetic fields of cities are characterized by significant noise, in the case of the San Francisco Bay Area, this noise is dominated by the BART train system. We demonstrate an ability to identify and extract BART noise from the urban magnetic environment.
We highlight the development of a low cost portable sensor array to study magnetic fields in...
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