NASA Logo, Mars Global Surveyor
MGS over Olympus Mons,
 Artwork by Corby Waste; Mars Global Surveyor, Magnetic Field Experiment, MAG/ER
, GSFC UCB CESR UDBRI NSF UGRAZ RICE; cover art of GRL Vol. 28, No. 21 with blac
k background

Mars Global Surveyor Magnetic Field Experiment

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MGS Magnetic Fields Investigation

The Mars Global Surveyor magnetic fields investigation provides fast vector measurements of the Martian magnetic field over a wide dynamic range.

The fundamental objectives of this investigation are

  • (1) to establish the nature of the magnetic field of Mars,
  • (2) to develop appropriate models for its representation, which take into account the internal sources of magnetism and the effects of the interaction of the solar wind, and
  • (3) to map the Martian crustal remanent field to a resolution consistent with the Mars Global Surveyor orbit altitude and ground track separation.

The basic instrumentation complement implemented for this mission is a synergistic combination of a dual, triaxial, flux gate magnetometer system and an electron reflectometer with sensors mounted on the solar panels and science platform. The magnetometer sensors provide measurements of the ambient magnetic field near the spacecraft, while the electron reflectometer provides remote magnetic field sensing capabilities. These instruments have an extensive spaceflight heritage, and similar versions of the same have been flown in numerous missions like Voyager, Magsat, International Solar Polar Mission (ISPM), Giotto, Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorers, and Global Geospace Science(GGS). Depending on the telemetry rate supported, a minimum of 2-16 vector samples per second will be acquired. The instrument is microprocessor controlled, can be partially reprogrammed in flight, and supports the packet telemetry protocol implemented for Mars Global Surveyor.

Contributors: David Brain, Sandy Kopman, Cisco Perin, and Theresa Valentine

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MGS MAG/ER is an international collaboration by: