Calibration of strapdown magnetometers in magnetic field domain

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

256 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 2006


  • Aerospace engineering
  • Algorithms
  • Calibration
  • Magnetic fields

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