Simultaneous localization and mapping using a magnetic quantum sensor

Vehicles that are able to autonomously move in the air, on the ground, or underwater must fuse various forms of sensor data together in order to ascertain the vehicles location relative to objects or a map. Typical sensor data includes inertial measurement unit data and some sort of positioning data, such as GPS data. However, positioning data is not always available, especially indoors and underground. SBQuantum (SBQ) has developed a novel quantum magnetometer that can measure the Earth’s magnetic field gradient. This project proposes sensing and mapping the magnetic field gradient using SBQ’s sensor in order to deduce the position of a vehicle or hand-held device. In particular, the focus of this project is the research, development, testing, and deployment of a navigation solution using magnetometry data provided by SBQ’s quantum magnetometer, as well as assessing just how reliable and accurate a magnetometry-based navigation solution is. The proposed navigation solution can potentially be used as an inexpensive means to position vehicles or hand-held devices such as smartphones in, essentially, any environment, when GPS is not available.

Natalia Pavlasek
Faculty Supervisor: 
James Richard Forbes
Partner University: