An Introduction to Space Instrumentation,
Edited by K. Oyama and C. Z. Cheng, pp. 217-225.
© TERRAPUB, 2013.

Development of fluxgate magnetometers and applications to the space science missions

A. Matsuoka1, M. Shinohara2, Y.-M. Tanaka3, A. Fujimoto1, and K. Iguchi4

1Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Japan
2Kagoshima National College of Technology, Japan
3National Institute of Polar Research, Japan
4The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Department of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan

Abstract: Magnetic field is one of the essential physical parameters to study the space physics and evolution of the solar system. There are several methods to measure the magnetic field in the space by spacecraft and rockets. Fluxgate magnetometer has been most generally used out of them because it measures the vector field accurately and does not need much weight and power budgets. When we try more difficult missions such as multi-satellite observation, landing on the celestial body and exploration in the area of severe environment, we have to modify the magnetometer or develop new techniques to make the instrument adequate for those projects. For example, we developed a 20-bit delta-sigma analogue-to-digital converter for MGF-I on the BepiColombo MMO satellite, to achieve the wide-range (±2000 nT) measurement with good resolution in the high radiation environment. For further future missions, we have examined the digitalizing of the circuit, which has much potential to drastically reduce the instrument weight, power consumption and performance dependence on the temperature.
Key words: Magnetometer, magnetic field, space science.

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