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So What Exactly is a Fluxgate Compass?

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Google Answers LogoIf you read yesterdays article on Raytheon instruments and got to wondering exactly what a fluxgate compass was - fear not.  It was bugging us too so we want hunting for an answer.  And where better to seek knowledge than Google Answers.  If you've never checked it out you should have a peak.  A great source for finding research that someone has already done.  Kind of a canned search thing.

Another technology used to circumvent magnetic interference is fluxgate technology. This is the type of compass found in most consumer cars and boats. Fluxgate compensates for interference by “cancelling out” magnetic fields that are not the Earth’s. Usually accomplished by turning the unit completely around a few times, these compasses use a number of sensors to judge differences in magnetic strength as the unit turns. By computing these differences, the unit produces a fairly accurate directional bearing (if you own a car with such a compass installed, you may read in the manual that it is required to drive in a tight circle at least three times in an empty parking lot to calibrate the compass).  More...

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