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The Earth itself is effectively the transmitter in magnetometer sensing. Its magnetic field is altered by the presence of ferrous material. These alterations, or anomalies, are detected by a magnetometer.


Why Atomic Magnetometers?

Magnetometers have important applications in geophysics and object detection. Ferrous objects or mineral bodies may be passively detected through their influence on the Earth’s magnetic field.

Magnetic fields have both a magnitude and direction. Atomic magnetometers are sensitive only to the strength of the magnetic field. Other magnetic sensors, such as fluxgates or magneto-


restrictive sensors, are also sensitive to the direction of the magnetic field. Those devices make good compasses, but are poor choices to measure minute differences in the magnetic field from a moving platform. Atomic magnetometers, also known as optically pumped magnetometers, are used almost exclusively when high sensitivity is required from moving platforms.


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