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Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2019-9
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2019-9
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 26 Mar 2019

Research article | 26 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems (GI).

In-situ Calibration of Offsetting Magnetometer Feedback Transients on the Cassiope Spacecraft

David M. Miles1, Andrew D. Howarth2, and Greg A. Enno2 David M. Miles et al.
  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242, USA
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada

Abstract. We present an in-situ calibration process to derive the transient behaviour of the offsetting fluxgate magnetometer (MGF) instruments on the Cassiope spacecraft. The dynamic behaviour of the MGF changed on-orbit following a software update. Characterising the new instrument dynamics during normal spacecraft operations and then removing the transients was confounded by significant magnetic interference from the reaction wheels used to orient the spacecraft. Special operations were performed where data was taken in a safe-hold mode, with the reaction wheels stopped, following a single-event upset of the spacecraft bus flight computer after transiting the South Atlantic Anomaly. The slow single-axis rotation of the safe-hold mode was used to characterize the fluxgate's new feedback dynamics. This characterisation process was then adapted for routine operation intervals with slow reaction wheel rates to allow the transient behaviour to be characterized over long intervals of data spanning a wide range of temperatures. Subtracting these characterized transients from the flight data improves the instrument's noise floor and allows the instrument to accurately track rapidly changing local fields without loss of measurement fidelity. More generally, this characterisation process should apply to other situations where the dynamics of an offsetting instrument must be calibrated in-situ.

David M. Miles et al.
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Short summary
Measurements from the magnetic field instrument on the Cassiope spacecraft were found to be degraded by an artifact of how the instrument tracks the changing magnetic field as the spacecraft orbits the Earth. We present a process to characterize this effect on-orbit and compensate for it in the post processing of the data. This work allows the instrument to accurately track rapidly changing local fields without loss of measurement fidelity and improves the high-frequency noise of the data.
Measurements from the magnetic field instrument on the Cassiope spacecraft were found to be...
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