This paper describes the theory behind all three known ways of digitalizing the fluxgate magnetometers: analogue magnetometers with digitalized output using high resolution ADC, application of the delta-sigma modulation to the sensor feedback loop and fully digital signal detection. At present time the Delta-Sigma ADCs are mostly used for the digitalization of the highly precise fluxgate magnetorneters. The relevant part of the paper demonstrates some pitfalls of their application studied during the design of the magnetometer for the new Czech scientific satellite MIMOSA. The part discussing the application of the A-E modulation to the sensor feedback loop theoretically derives the main advantage of this method-increasing of the modulation order and shows its real potential compared to the analog magnetometer with consequential digitalization. The comparison is realized on the modular magnetometer allowing configurations with modulator inside and outside the feedback loop. The last principle is demonstrated on the project of the fully digital fluxgate magnetometer based on the digital signal processor (DSP). The results of the presented projects are compared with recently published competitive projects. The main objective of the paper is then to discuss the potential, real advantages and weakness of each concept and to examine their convenience for future implementations.
Sensors and Actuators A-physical, 2005, Vol 121, Issue 2, p. 421-429
fluxgate magnetometers; high-resolution analogue-to-digital conversion; delta-sigma modulation; digital signal detection