Description

Geometrics has recently announced a revolutionary new line of magnetometer products based on recent research in miniaturizing atomic clocks and magnetometers. Advances by Geometrics allow for a 10-fold reduction in size and power consumption without sacrificing performance. New devices soon to be on the market are only about 15cc in size, and require only 2W per sensor. Manufacturing technologies for an additional 10-fold reduction in size and power consumption are available now. Recent advances in laser technology and MEMS fabrication techniques, supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) , have led to miniaturized components for atomic clocks and magnetometers. Using its long experience in building field-rugged magnetometers, Geometrics has recently achieved the breakthroughs necessary in sensor and electronics design to bring cost-effective, reliable products to market. This advancement in sensing technology will make an enormous impact on sensing and detection applications. Many applications could benefit from lower cost, lower power sensors. Some applications will use a relatively small number of sensors, and others will create demand for a huge number of sensors. These applications and the required production technology must be carefully choreographed for the successful launching of this technology. We recognize that each customer has unique needs, so in order to better meet those needs we have created four different sensors, each with different technical specifications. These sensors are the Low-Noise MFAM, Low-Heading Error MFAM, Super-MFAM (combining the low-noise and low heading error configurations into the same MFAM Module) and the SX-MFAM for export compliance. To see the specifications of each, please refer to the "Spec Sheet" available for download below.
 

Features and benefits

MFAM Module
  • Dual-Sensor Module: Two sensors allow for individual or gradient measurements. Reconfigure sensors to achieve dead-zone free operation anywhere in the world. Also allows for heading error compensation
  • Small Size: No significant weight increase when added to existing instruments or systems.
  • Low Power Operation: Decrease downtime by operating longer on a smaller battery.
  • Modular Architecture: Integrate the MFAM module into your existing instruments and expand your service line.
  • High Performance: Fast sampling and low noise allow for use in a variety of applications, including geophysics, non-destructive evaluation, magnetocardiography, and structural health fields.
MFAM Development Kit
  • Four Analog Input Channels: Differential and scalable inputs for versatile integration.
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) Support: Single connection for power and downloading data.
  • On-board GPS: GPS provides position and 1PPS controls measurement timing.
  • Temperature/Pressure/Humidity Sensor: Understand environmental conditions.
  • 10 MHz Reference Input: Allows the disciplining of master system clock.
  • Schematics and Example Source Code Provided: Modify code as needed for interface requirements and use schematics to start a custom board layout.
 

Technical Details

MFAM Specification List

MFAM Developer Kit


The Geometrics MFAM is a laser pumped cesium magnetometer module that measures the total magnetic field strength, with a digital interface for easy integration with modular sensing platforms. The module features two sensors that can be used independently or as an intrinsic gradiometer. The sensors can also be arranged to compensate heading error or eliminate dead zone. Specifications for the Low-Noise MFAM are shown below. To see the specifications for the Low-Heading Error MFAM, Super-MFAM or SX-MFAM, please see the Spec Sheet.

Power Supply

    • Supply Voltage: Vin referenced to GND. minimum 9.5 volts, typical 12 volts, maximum 16 volts
    • Average Current Draw: Vin = 12V, 25 °C ambient temperature, typ 0.4 A, max 0.6 A. Vin = 12V, -35 °C ambient temperature, typ 0.65 A, max 0.85 A.
    • Average Power Draw: 25 °C ambient temperature, typ 5 W, max 7 W. -35 °C ambient temperature, typ 8 W, max 10 W.

Performance

    • Field Range: Full Scale, min 20 µT, max 100 µT.
    • Noise Floor: Magnetic field orthogonal to sensor optical axis - typical 2 pT/√Hzrms, max 4 pT/√Hzrms
    • Dead Zone: Polar only, included angle. Typ 60 degrees, max 70 degrees.
    • Heading Error: Measured at 50µT field strength, typ 50 nTp-p, max 80 nTp-p
    • Digital Resolution: 32-bit magnetometer output. Typ 0.05 pT/LSb.
    • Output Data Rate: Continuous Measurement. 1000 Hz.

Environmental

  • Operating Temperature: Ambient, min -35°C, max 50°C.
  • Storage Temperature: Ambient, min -40°C, max 70°C.
  • Operating Altitude: 10000 feet.
  • Storage Altitude: 45000 feet.
MFAM Pin Configuration

Pin Signal Description
1 CHASSIS Chassis Ground
2 GND Power supply ground
3 Vin Power supply (9.5V to 16V)
4 Vin Power supply (9.5V to 16V)
5 GND Power supply ground
6 GND Power supply ground
7 MSPI_DOUT Data output (TX), SPI protocol, unit is master
8 DNC Do not connect, leave pin open.
9 MSPI_DIN Data input (RX), SPI protocol unit is master
10 DNC Do not connect, leave pin open.
11 MSPI_SCLK Clock output, SPI protocol, unit is master
12 DNC Do not connect, leave pin open.
13 MSPI_CSB Chip select, active low signal, SPI protocol, unit is master
14 DNC Do not connect, leave pin open.
15 CTS Clear To Send handshake signal, INPUT to MFAM unit (not implemented)
16 REF10M 10 MHz reference clock input, OPTIONAL
17 RTS Ready To Send handshake signal, OUTPUT from MFAM unit (not implemented)
18 1PPS 1 pulse per second input, positive edge triggered
19 GND Power supply ground
20 GND Power supply ground
Differences between LCS050G (Low-Noise) vs. LCS100S (SuperMag) modules

Q. What is the difference between LCS050G (Low Noise) and LCS100S (SuperMag)? Is different firmware the only thing that separates the Low-Noise version from SuperMag version? Or are there mechanical differences in how the sensors are constructed?
A. The firmware is different, but that is not the only difference. We also build our sensors in two different groups - A and B - to satisfy the different requirements for each version. Group A satisfies SuperMag specs, while group B meets the Low-Noise specs (please refer to the datasheet). Each SuperMag must have 2 Group A sensors.
Q. The sensors in the SuperMag are physically mounted in a configuration to eliminate the dead zones. Could a customer mount their Low-Noise version of the sensors into the same 'no Dead Zone' configuration, then run a simple script to accept only good data so that if one sensor goes into a dead zone, the firmware will automatically switch to record the data from the second sensor? Obviously Geometrics performs some magic when combining the data in the firmware, but that doesn't necessarily preclude a customer from trying to make a "SuperMag" type system with their Low-Noise sensors, right?
A. In principle, yes. Customers can write their own script to combine the readings from each sensor to achieve the dead-zone-free operation. However, smoothing out the combined reading when one sensor’s reading drops out is pretty tricky. In addition, the heading effect will be much worse (determined by the heading effect of individual sensors) if customers choose to combine individual magnetometer readings instead of using the SuperMag dead-zone-free mode.
Q. Can I upgrade my Low-Noise sensors to the SuperMag version? Would I have to send my unit to Geometrics' Customer Support or could you simply provide the new firmware so that the instrument behaves like a SuperMag? A. Yes, it is possible to upgrade your firmware, but this process requires you to return the instrument to us. However, Geometrics will NOT guarantee the SuperMag specs in this case since LCS050G still has Group B sensors. The only way to guarantee SuperMag specs is to purchase the SuperMag sensors.
Please contact us us for more information.
Cannot Connect to the MFAM Dev Kit through the Ethernet
    • Make sure your computer Ethernet port is set up correctly. (Please refer to the instructions provided on the USB drive shipped with the Dev Kit)
    • Make sure you are connecting to the correct IP. Sometimes the Dev Kit IP is NOT set to the default 192.168.2.2 if you have more than one Dev Kit.
    • Make sure the Ethernet version of the firmware is loaded in the Dev Kit (Ethernet LED should be on), instead of the WIFI version. (To load different firmware, please refer to the instructions provided on the USB drive shipped with the Dev Kit). To check to see if the Ethernet version of the firmware is loaded (instead of the WiFi version), plug an Ethernet cable into the Dev Kit Ethernet Connector and into the PC Ethernet connector. Look to see if the two Ethernet Status LEDs on the Dev Kit light up. If the Ethernet Version of the firmware is loaded both will be lit. If not, the WiFi version of the firmware is probably installed.Note that even if the Ethernet firmware is loaded the WiFi adapter board in the Dev Kit will broadcast an SSID even though the Ethernet firmware doesn't look at the WiFi adapter at all. Seeing a broadcast SSID from the Dev Kit is not a verification that the WiFi firmware is installed. You must be able to connect to the WiFi adapter to verify the WiFi firmware is installed.
How to switch the operating mode for SuperMag (LCS100S) MFAM?
  • Detailed instructions for changing the operating mode of the SuperMag(LCS100S) MFAM through the SPI can be found in the Module User Guide, located in the USB drive shipped with the product.
  • The operating mode can be changed through the MagViewMFAM software (software installation is also in the USB drive). Use the MagViewMFAM to connect to the MFAM.
    • After startup, the "Run Mode" indicates the current operating modes.
    • To change the operating modes, choose "Run Mode" in the "Command Menu" and then select a different mode in the drop-down menu.
    • Click "Send Command" button to change to the selected mode.
    • To set the current modes as the default startup operating modes, select "Save Settings" and click "Send Command". Power cycle and make sure that the default startup operating modes have been saved.
How to set up dead-zone-free operation for MFAM

MFAM-SuperMag (LCS100S) or MFAM-SX (LCS100X) can be configured to achieve dead-zone-free operation, in which the combined sensor is always active no matter where in the world and which direction the device is oriented.


To set up the dead-zone-free configuration:


Make sure the MFAM is in the “One Sensor (No Dead Zone) run mode. If not, please refer to “How to switch the operating mode for SuperMag MFAM” on our website found here: (PRODUCT >> MAGNETOMETERS >> Land Magnetometers >> MFAM Developer Kit >> Technical Details).


Orient two sensors orthogonally. The ideal relative orientation is shown below (also in the test report in the USB drive shipped with the unit). This configuration works for both the “Low Heading Error” and the “Low Noise” modes.


Low Heading Error Only mode

If you only wish to run the sensor in the “Low Heading Error” mode (note that SX MFAM does NOT have the “Low Noise” mode), a simpler configuration, as shown below, can also achieve the dead-zone-free operation.

MFAM Developer Kit Shipping Weights & DIMS

Shipping Weights & DIMS

Contents Dimensions (L x W x H) Weight
Case 1 - MFAM Development Kit 20in x 15in x 13in 51cm x 38cm x 33cm 10lbs 4.5kg
 

TYPICAL USES

  • Novel UAS Applications: Wellhead locating, pipeline tracking, utility surveying, and more
  • Security and Detection Applications: A small unit size, low power requirements, and high sensitivity allow for perimeter monitoring applications.
  • Marine Magnetometry Investigations: Customizable architecture allows for integration with autonomous or manned underwater vehicles.
 

BUYING INFORMATION

 

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