Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Help with multiple magnetic field device

  1. Sep 9, 2013 #1
    Greetings everyone
    I am deciding on a project to work on for my bachelor's degree in engineering right now. I have an idea that involves using multiple metal detectors placed about 1-2 cm apart from each other.
    The idea is to develop a device that is able to detect the shape of an metal item inside a wall (such as for example a wire).

    So the question to you would be. Is it theoretically possible to construct a device like this using relatively simple circuits?
    Also, I am not sure if it is theoretically possible due to the interaction between the magnetic fields. Does anyone here have any insights into how magnetic fields would interact in a device like this?

    More details on the idea:
    The device should have ~10-16 LED's which will be connected to ~10-16 metal detectors arranged in a grid. When a metal is detected, the corresponding LED lights up. Thus giving the user the possibility to see the shape of the object hidden in the wall.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated
    Thorgeir Gisli
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Metal detectors contain metal, so the device will certainly "see" itself. You will need some way to distinguish metal in a wall from the metal and the magnetic fields in the detector (=closer to the detectors, and probably more metal). I guess a careful calibration can do this, but it won't be an easy task. Powering them in a sequence (so only one detector is active at a time) could help.

    With 10-16 LEDs, do you expect a significant advantage compared to a single detector, swept over the wall?
  4. Sep 9, 2013 #3
    Yeea, its starting to sound quite impractical.
    I am studying product and design psychology and this semester is all about circuits. We are supposed to create a device using circuits, we cannot use any programming such as an Arduino or anything like that.
    I thought it might be an interesting concept to have a device which could show you the shape of a metal object inside the wall. But the more I think about it, the more problematic it starts to sound. We have no experience using magnetic fields anyway.
    Also as you said, a single detector swept over the wall does pretty much the same thing.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook