Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2021-2
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2021-2

  29 Mar 2021

29 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GI.

The Fluxgate Magnetometer of the Low Orbit Pearl Satellites  (LOPS): overview of in-flight performance and initial results 

Ye Zhu1,2,3, Aimin Du1,2, Hao Luo1,2, Donghai Qiao4, Ying Zhang1, Yasong Ge1,2, Jiefeng Yang3, Shuquan Sun1, Lin Zhao1, Jiaming Ou1, Zhifang Guo1, and Lin Tian1,2 Ye Zhu et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Earth and Planetary Physics, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China
  • 2College of Earth Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 3Shanghai Engineering Centre for Microsatellites, Chinese Academy of Science, Shanghai, China
  • 4School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Soochow University

Abstract. The Low Orbit Pearl Satellite series consists of six constellations, with each constellation consisting of three identical micro-satellites which line up just like a string of pearls. The first constellation of three satellites were launched on September 29, 2017, with an inclination of ~ 35.5° and ~ 600 km altitude. Each satellite is equipped with three identical Fluxgate Magnetometers (FGM), which measure the in-situ magnetic field and its low frequency fluctuations in the Earth’s low altitude orbit. The triple sensor configuration enables separation of stray field effects generated by the spacecraft from the ambient magnetic field [e.g. Zhang et al., 2006]. This paper gives a general description of the magnetometer about the instrument design, calibration before launch, in flight calibration, as well as the in-flight performance and initial results. Unprecedented spatial coverage resolution of the magnetic field measurements allow for investigating the dynamic processes and electric currents of ionosphere and magnetosphere, especially for the ring current and equatorial electrojet (EEJ) during both geomagnetic quiet conditions and storms. It could be important for studying the method to separate their contributions of the M-I current system.

Ye Zhu et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gi-2021-2 Sergio Fernández Romero', Sergio Fernández, 11 May 2021 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Hao Luo, 17 May 2021 reply

Ye Zhu et al.

Ye Zhu et al.

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Short summary
The LOPS measure the magnetic field with high spatial coverage. Although there are no magnetic cleanliness to the satellites, triple sensors configuration enables removal of interferences from the satellites. Results show they are able to capture the Earth’s internal as well as the external fields from the magnetosphere-ionosphere current system. This study implies that large number of small low-cost satellites without magnetic cleanliness would be
the future for the space magnetic exploration.