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On-board autonomous calibration for highly precise space vector magnetometers


The fluxgate magnetometer for high precision measurements from space onboard LEO (low Earth orbit) satellites has an excellent behaviour regarding offset stability and low non-orthogonal angles drift. However, the scale factors tend to drift due to the aging and degradation caused by the radiation to which the electronics (in particular the reference device inside the instrument) is exposed.

Therefore, it is customary to fly an absolute scalar magnetometer to in-flight calibrate the fluxgate. The comparison between the instruments is made on ground and a set of temporal correction for the parameters is estimated. This is the case for the dedicated mapping missions orsted, SAC-C and CHAMP (launched in 1999, 2000 and 2000, respectively). The autonomy of the instrumentation onboard is limited to the basic operational features of the spacecraft, which relays of a minimum of onboard computations.

This avoids possible unrecoverable potential faults, which is also complaint with a robust system as it is the case of these mentioned satellites. The goal of presented project is to analyze, develop and finely implement electronics and algorithms of corrections to the instrument. The implementation of such corrections will guarantee the invariability of the instrument parameters during the mission lifetime and it will also reduce the costs of pre-, in- and post-flight calibrations as it is experienced in the orsted/SAC-C/CHAMP satellites.

This is of special interest with the coming multipoint satellites missions, like the E SA Swarm proposal (where orsted DTU MI is presently involved in actively), where resources could be minimized regarding instrumental calibration. The successful implementation onboard will increase and extend the level of instrument autonomy and its data processing, and also the data quality, whose user (the scientific community) will also benefit from.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/data science/data processing

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

EIF - Marie Curie actions-Intra-European Fellowships


Anker Engelundsvej 1