Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dryver Huston

Second Advisor

Mandar Dewoolkar


Signaling and sensing with rotating magnet sources have both Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial applications. The dual spinning magnet unit presented in this paper is a simple, lightweight solution to help understand soil densities and locate water and ice pockets, for example, on Mars. Traditional magnetic telemetry systems that use energy-inefficient large induction coils and antennas as sources and receivers are not practical for extraterrestrial and remote field sensing applications. The recent proliferation of strong rare-earth permanent magnets and high-sensitivity magnetometers enables alternative magnetic telemetry system concepts with significantly more compact formats and lower energy consumption. There are also terrestrial applications, for example, subterranean objects such as underground infrastructure and unexploded ordnances (UXO) that are often unmapped and difficult to find on Earth. Current ground penetrating radar units are expensive, large, and heavy. The research presented explores the viability and possibility to develop a unit that will induce an oscillating magnetic field with controllable shape to reliably locate buried ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic objects while remaining lightweight and cost effective. A Dual Rotating Magnet (DRM) design is presented. Experiments and numerical simulations assess the system for terrestrial and extraterrestrial detection of: 1) differences in soil densities, 2) water and ice pockets at shallow depths in the subsurface, and 3) subterranean ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic objects of interest.



Number of Pages

183 p.