Remote tracking of a magnetic receiver using low frequency beacons

Arie Sheinker, Boris Ginzburg, Nizan Salomonski, Lev Frumkis, Ben Zion Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Low frequency magnetic fields feature high penetration ability, whichallowscommunication, localization, and tracking in environments where radio or acoustic waves are blocked or distorted by multipath interferences. In the present work, we propose a method for tracking a magnetic receiver using beacons of low frequency magnetic field, where the receiver includes a tri-axial search-coil magnetometer. Measuring the beacons' magnetic fields and calculating the total-field signals enables localization without restrictions on magnetometer orientation, allowing on-the-move tracking. The total-field signals are used by a global search method, e.g., simulated annealing (SA) algorithm, to localize the receiver. The magnetic field produced by each beacon has a dipole structure and is governed by the beacon's position and magnetic moment. We have investigated two different methods for estimating beacons' magnetic moments prior to localization. The first method requires directional measurements, whereas for the second method the total-field signal is used.Effectiveness of these methods has been proved in numerous field tests. In the present work, we introduce a method for tracking a moving receiver by successive localizations. Using previous localization as a starting point of the search method for the next localization can reduce execution time and chances for divergence. The proposed method has been tested using numerous computer simulations. Successful system operation has been verified in field conditions. The good tracking capability together with simple implementation makes the proposed method attractive for real-time, low power field applications, such as mobile robots navigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105101
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • localization
  • low frequency magnetic fields
  • magnetometers
  • simulated annealing (SA)
  • tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


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