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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-2019-15
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2019-15
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 09 May 2019

Research article | 09 May 2019

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

Low-Noise Permalloy Ring-Cores for Fluxgate Magnetometers

David M. Miles1,2, Miroslaw Ciurzynski1, David Barona1, B. Barry Narod3, John R. Bennest4, Andy Kale1, Marc Lessard5, David K. Milling1, Joshua Larson2, and Ian R. Mann1 David M. Miles et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
  • 3Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 4Bennest Enterprises Ltd., Summerland, BC, Canada
  • 5Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA

Abstract. Fluxgate magnetometers are important tools for geophysics and space physics providing high precision magnetic field measurements. Fluxgate magnetometer noise performance is typically limited by a ferromagnetic element that is periodically forced into magnetic saturation to modulate, or gate, the local magnetic field. The parameters that control the intrinsic magnetic noise of the ferromagnetic element remain poorly understood. Much of the basic research into producing low-noise fluxgate sensors was completed in the 1960s for military purposes and was never publicly released. Many modern fluxgates depend on legacy Infinetics S1000 ring-cores that have been out of production since 1996 and for which there is no published manufacturing process. We present a manufacturing approach that can consistently produce fluxgate ring-cores with a noise of ∼6–11 pT per square root Hertz – comparable to many of the legacy Infinetics ring-cores used worldwide today. As a result, we demonstrate that we have developed the capacity to produce the low-noise ring-cores essential for high-quality, science-grade fluxgate instrumentation. This work has also revealed potential avenues for further improving performance, and further research into low-noise magnetic materials and fluxgate magnetometer sensors is underway.

David M. Miles et al.
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David M. Miles et al.
David M. Miles et al.
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Latest update: 23 Jul 2019
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Short summary
Fluxgate magnetometers provide magnetic field measurements for geophysics and space physics. A low-noise ferromagnetic ring-core typically determines the noise performance of the instrument. Much of the basic research into producing low-noise fluxgate sensors was completed in the 1960s for military purposes and was never publicly released. We present a manufacturing approach that can consistently produce fluxgate ring-cores with noise performance comparable to the legacy ring-cores used today.
Fluxgate magnetometers provide magnetic field measurements for geophysics and space physics. A...
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