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Background

Brief description of geomagnetism and observation systems

About WMM

Learn more about model derivation, uncertainties and magnetic poles

Model & Software

Download model coefficients, software and documentation

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Calculate magnetic field values at or near the Earth surface

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Browse imagery and contour maps for main field and secular change

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Common applications of WMM

License

License and copyright information

The new software for World Magnetic Model

Introduction

The WMM software reads the model-coefficient file and computes the geomagnetic field at user specified location. Due to the number of changes made to the WMM software, NGDC is releasing a new version of the code. The download file is always the latest version. Only the new version will be maintained and updated in the future. All other versions are offered as is. The new version is a complete rewrite, coinciding with the release of the 2010 WMM. The new software for WMM is developed as a C sub-library that can be incorporated to other applications and software. We use a modular programming approach to facilitate reuse in other applications. We also provide wrapper programs to produce single point, time series and grid values of the magnetic field. The new software exactly follows the algorithm outlined in the WMM technical report. The core numerical functions are optimized for speed and efficiency. Figure 1 shows a flowchart of the WMM software to compute magnetic fields at a point.

Flow Chart of the WMM program
Fig 1. Flow chart of the WMM program to compute magnetic field at a point. Click image for larger version.

Geoid implementation in WMM software.

In the WMM software, the altitude is referenced to the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 84) ellipsoid. This is generally called height above ellipsoid (HAE). However WMM users are more familiar with the height above mean sea level (AMSL). The difference between AMSL and HAE varies with location and the total variation is less than 200 meters. The previous versions of WMM required user to enter HAE. The new version of the WMM software allows the user to enter their altitude above the mean sea level rather than their height above ellipsoid. Conversion between heights referenced to MSL and WGS84 ellipsoid has been implemented using the EGM96 geoid. Figure 2 shows the effect of geoid elevation correction at sea level for the year 2010 in the total field. The correction results in a difference of magnetic field strength of about 1-3 nT. The largest differences in magnetic field strength coincide with the largest deviations of the geoid from the WGS-84 ellipsoid. However, the effect of geoid height correction is negligible in the magnetic declination. The EGM-96 geoid height file will also be supplied with the WMM package for this purpose. This option is enabled by default.

Effect of geoid elevation correction
Fig 2. The effect of geoid elevation correction on the total field, F in WMM2010. Click image for larger version.

Use of WMM software for high degree geomagnetic models

The software accurately computes the associated Legendre functions up to degree 2800, making it adaptable for high-degree geomagnetic models.

Details of the World Magnetic Model derivation are described in the NOAA Technical Report: The US/UK World Magnetic Model for 2015-2020 (pdf).


Last Modified on: Sunday, 14-Dec-2014 15:18:14 MST
NOAA > NESDIS > NGDC
http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/WMM/newsoft.shtml
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