Magnetic particle tracking: A semi-algebraic solution

K. A. Buist, T. M.J. Nijssen

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Magnetic Particle Tracking (MPT) is a relatively new non-invasive measurement technique which is often used to study dense granular flow. Its basic principle relies on tracking the movement of a single magnetic tracer by means of measuring the magnetic field strength at a suitable distance from the tracer. By assumption of a magnetic dipole and the use of minimization techniques, both location and orientation of the tracer can be determined. MPT is therefore uniquely suited for the study of non-spherical particles. The performance of the localization is largely dependent on the signal-to-noise ratio and very often relies on nonlinear optimization techniques, as the definition of the magnetic field generated by a dipole is highly nonlinear and has five degrees of freedom. In this paper, we present a semi-algebraic solution by decoupling the estimation of the position and orientation in separate algebraic solutions. The two estimates are mutually dependent, necessitating an iterative approach between the two. The main benefits of this new approach is in the speed and robustness of the algorithm, which are much higher than for the classical constrained nonlinear optimization techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118212
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Granular flows
  • Magnetic Particle Tracking
  • Minimization
  • Non-invasive monitoring
  • Optimization


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