Magnetometer Calibration for Advanced Small Satellite Missions

Implementation of magnetometers as attitude sensors onboard the small satellites brings with numerous challenges most of which caused by locating the sensors closely with other subsystems. One of these challenges is estimation and compensation of soft iron error that deteriorates the magnetometer measurements. This is a type of error formed by the ferromagnetic materials (or soft irons) onboard the satellite. Ferromagnetic materials are materials that can be magnetized by an external magnetic field and remain magnetized even after the external field is removed. For small satellite missions, not having a ferromagnetic material in the vicinity of magnetometers is almost inevitable because of size limitations. In this study, we initially characterize the magnetometer errors and discuss the effects of ferromagnetic materials on the magnetometer measurements. Then, we test a simple algorithm, which is fit to the nature of nanosatellite missions, for estimating and compensating the magnetometer errors including the time-varying soft iron error in-orbit. Results are compared with an expectation-maximization algorithm for magnetometer calibration.
30th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science, (3 - 10 Temmuz 2015)


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Citation Formats
H. E. Söken, “Magnetometer Calibration for Advanced Small Satellite Missions,” Kobe, Japonya, 2015, p. 1, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: