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Autodif : Automatic Theodolite for Measuring the Magnetic Declination and Inclination

Research project MO/34/012 (Research action MO)

Persons :

  •   RASSON Jean - Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2004-31/12/2007

Description :

The purpose of the project is to build and develop an instrument capable of automatically measuring the direction of the Geomagnetic Field. This instrument is essentially a non-magnetic theodolite equipped with a flux valve sensor and designed so that it can operate in automatic mode. A robot of this kind will ultimately lead to the development of a 100% automatic Magnetic Observatory.

The specific project tasks are as follows:

1. Learn in detail how an operator performs declination and inclination measurements using a DIflux.
2. Training in the technology of optical angle encoders. Electronic devices. Improvement of precision and resolution. Obtaining amagnetism. Use of Surface Mount Components (SMC). Evaluation of the non-magnetic encoders produced.
3. Piezoelectric motors. Shinsei US-60 technology. US-60 non-magnetic version. Electronic devices. Obtaining micro-rotations. Performance of motor actions on the theodolite.
4. Automatic sighting of a distant target using a laser beam. Reflectors, autocollimator. Electronic devices.
5. Fluxgate probes. Electronic devices.
6. Electronic levels. Obtaining automatic levels.
7. Mounting of encoders, fluxgates, piezo motors and retro-reflectors on the theodolite.
8. Writing DIflux programming code for automatic measurements using a distant target.
9. Determination of geographic north by gyroscope measurements. Learning of manual methods. North-Seeker WILD ARK-2 technology.
10. Robotisation of ARK-2 using the encoders and piezoelectric motors developed above.
11. Design and construction of the automatic guard spacer between ARK-2 and Iflux (DIflux retaining only the horizontal axis).
12. Design and construction of Iflux.
13. Merging of Iflux and ARK-2 using the spacer for 100% automatic measurements without visual references (no distant target).
14. Writing of Iflux and ARK-2 programming code for automatic measurements.

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