One research theme for Tampere University in AUTOPORT is studying magnetometers integrated in hand-held devices, such as smartphones. Measurements from magnetometers can be used to estimate the heading of smartphones with respect to the North Pole, which is essential for finding the orientation of the device and the direction the person holding the phone is walking. However, magnetometer readings from mobile phone sensors are corrupted by multiple sources of errors and, therefore, cannot be used directly for heading estimation but require calibration.

In order to improve the calibration process, the project team at Tampere University has been analyzing the noise in triaxial sensors (e.g. magnetometers) with statistical methods. The results of analysis and information on the calibration of magnetometers can be found from Nhan Nguyen’s bachelor thesis ( and in the paper The calibration and statistical analysis of noise in triaxial magnetometers, which was presented in the 16th Workshop on Positioning, Navigation and Communications ( in Bremen, Germany. The team is now implementing and testing computational efficient methods for more accurate calibration of low-cost magnetometers integrated in smartphones. This will ensure that these handheld device work reliably in port environments.