Calibration of strapdown magnetometers in magnetic field domain

Demoz Gebre-Egziabher, Gabriel H. Elkaim, J. David Powell, Bradford W. Parkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

244 Scopus citations


This paper presents an algorithm for calibrating strapdown magnetometers in the magnetic field domain. In contrast to the traditional method of compass swinging, which computes a series of heading correction parameters and thus is limited to use with two-axis systems, this algorithm estimates magnetometer output errors directly. Therefore, this new algorithm can be used to calibrate a full three-axis magnetometer triad. The calibration algorithm uses an iterated, batch least-squares estimator that is initialized using a two-step nonlinear estimator. The algorithm is simulated to validate convergence characteristics and further validated on experimental data collected using a magnetometer triad. It is shown that the postcalibration residuals are small and result in a system with heading errors on the order of 1 to 2 degrees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-102
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aerospace Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006


  • Aerospace engineering
  • Algorithms
  • Calibration
  • Magnetic fields

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