The Earth's magnetic field has long provided us with a directional reference of almost worldwide usable coverage. This paper examines the use of the magnetic field for ground referenced motion and position measurements
Where E is the vector representation of an electrical field, v vehicle velocity and B a magnetic field, the electromagnetic law of induction, E = v × B, indicates one possibility for measuring ground speed; the magnetic and electrical fields experienced by vehicle mounted sensors being used to solve the equation for v. This method however only gives the component of v perpendicular to the magnetic field. There are also certain difficulties associated with the measurement of B, which should be only the magnetic field of the Earth at the location of the vehicle, and E, which should be only the electrical field resulting from vehicle motion relative to the magnetic field of the Earth. The main problem appears to be the inseparability of motion dependent and non dependent electrical fields, a problem analogous to that of gravitation-acceleration inseparability for inertial navigation systems. The relative magnitudes of the vehicle-motiondependent E-field, of the order of 10−5 (volt/metre)/(metre/second), and the ever-present and very variable non-motion-dependent E-field between a highly conductive atmospheric layer at an altitude of about 50 km and the surface of the Earth, of some 102 volt/metre, are particularly unfavourable. Another potential basis for a ground-speed measurement system is the heterogeneous character of the intensity of the Earth's magnetic field.