Evaluating the efficacy of magnetic sensors in smartphones for geophysical investigations

Campbell, Nathan (Oklahoma State University) | Atekwana, Estella (University of Delaware)


Current geophysical equipment designed to measure the subsurface is relatively bulky and expensive. These limiting factors hinder the independent geophysicist that may not have the money to invest in commercially available instruments. As sensor technology in smartphones develops, there is little research in its applications or efficacy for the acquisition of scientifically useable data. This study evaluates the efficacy of a magnetic field sensor in an Android Phone. Using a free application called AndroSensor©, an experiment was conducted with a smartphone attached to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Aeromagnetic data of the Stillwater landfill was collected and a grid map was created to delineate its boundaries. A walking survey was also conducted to compare the smartphone with a G858 Cesium vapor magnetometer. Results showed little variation between the two sensors when within the boundaries of the landfill. This proof of concept study will establish a method to test smartphones for geophysical investigation and provide insight into future smartphone sensor applications.

Presentation Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Start Time: 1:50:00 PM

Location: 204A (Anaheim Convention Center)

Presentation Type: Oral