Article

Space Science Reviews

, Volume 141, Issue 1, pp 235-264

The THEMIS Fluxgate Magnetometer

  • H. U. AusterAffiliated withInstitut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik der Technischen Universität Braunschweig Email author 
  • , K. H. GlassmeierAffiliated withInstitut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik der Technischen Universität Braunschweig
  • , W. MagnesAffiliated withSpace Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • , O. AydogarAffiliated withSpace Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • , W. BaumjohannAffiliated withSpace Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • , D. ConstantinescuAffiliated withInstitut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik der Technischen Universität Braunschweig
  • , D. FischerAffiliated withSpace Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • , K. H. FornaconAffiliated withInstitut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik der Technischen Universität Braunschweig
  • , E. GeorgescuAffiliated withMPE Garching
    • , P. HarveyAffiliated withSSL at UCB
    • , O. HillenmaierAffiliated withMagson GmbH Berlin
    • , R. KrothAffiliated withMagson GmbH Berlin
    • , M. LudlamAffiliated withSSL at UCB
    • , Y. NaritaAffiliated withInstitut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik der Technischen Universität Braunschweig
    • , R. NakamuraAffiliated withSpace Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences
    • , K. OkrafkaAffiliated withInstitut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik der Technischen Universität Braunschweig
    • , F. PlaschkeAffiliated withInstitut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik der Technischen Universität Braunschweig
    • , I. RichterAffiliated withInstitut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik der Technischen Universität Braunschweig
    • , H. SchwarzlAffiliated withIGPP at UCLA
    • , B. StollAffiliated withInstitut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik der Technischen Universität Braunschweig
    • , A. ValavanoglouAffiliated withSpace Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences
    • , M. WiedemannAffiliated withMagson GmbH Berlin

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Abstract

The THEMIS Fluxgate Magnetometer (FGM) measures the background magnetic field and its low frequency fluctuations (up to 64 Hz) in the near-Earth space. The FGM is capable of detecting variations of the magnetic field with amplitudes of 0.01 nT, and it is particularly designed to study abrupt reconfigurations of the Earth’s magnetosphere during the substorm onset phase. The FGM uses an updated technology developed in Germany that digitizes the sensor signals directly and replaces the analog hardware by software. Use of the digital fluxgate technology results in lower mass of the instrument and improved robustness. The present paper gives a description of the FGM experimental design and the data products, the extended calibration tests made before spacecraft launch, and first results of its magnetic field measurements during the first half year in space. It is also shown that the FGM on board the five THEMIS spacecraft well meets and even exceeds the required conditions of the stability and the resolution for the magnetometer.

Keywords

Plasma physics Substorm Fluxgate magnetometer Calibration