Solar Orbiter magnetometer - thermal and management, March 2009-April 2010

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Physics


Imperial College London leads a consortium which has proposed a magnetometer for the Solar Orbiter mission. The magnetometer is a key instrument to the science goals of the mission and comprises two sensors located on a boom in shadow behind the spacecraft, an electronics box in the spacecraft and associated harnesses. The proposed design measures the magnetic field in the vicinity of the spacecraft with sufficient precision to characterise phenomena from large scale structures to ion kinetic scales, is a mature design and complies with the mass and power requirements of the Payload Definition Document. This proposal is for a limited amount of work to support the Imperial College London team until April 2010. During this time, we will undertake instrument leadership activities, coordinating our activities with the European Space Agency, NASA and other instrument teams. We will also address the most important technical issue of the instrument, which is temperature control. The sensor will sit at the end of a boom, in continual shadow, and hence will get cold. We will undertake detailed modelling work, to determine precisely how cold it is expected to run, and how we can keep the temeprature within allowable limits using heaters: specifying the required heater power is a key goal. We will aos investigate whether we can run our sensors at temperatures lower than that to which they have previously been qualified.


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Description Ongoing instrument development
Exploitation Route Ongoing Solar Orbiter magnetometer defelopment
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine

Description Work on this grant had fed into current ongoing instrument deveopment