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Biaxial Fluxgate Magnetometer

NSSDCA ID: 1966-110A-02

Mission Name: ATS 1
Principal Investigator:Prof. Paul J. Coleman, Jr.


This biaxial fluxgate magnetometer measured vector magnetic fields at synchronous altitude. One sensor was mounted in the spin plane of the spacecraft and one along the spin axis. Using the onboard sun sensor, triaxial vector measurements were deduced. As the sensor was mounted on only a 15-cm boom, it has suffered from serious spacecraft interference. Though measurement precision was about 0.5 nT, interference fields were of the order of the ambient fields. Procedures for offset corrections have been developed and implemented for about 95% of the interference sources to a 15-s time resolution. Also, spectral analyses of wave modes present were possible to a 0.32-s time resolution. Thus dc fields were obtainable from this data up to 15-s time resolution, and wave data up to 1.5 Hz. Certain nonmachine-correctable offsets still plague reduced data from this experiment, but these are identifiable and hand correctable. The onboard sun sensor failed November 2, 1969. However, the sun caused a noise modulation of the spinning spacecraft so that even after this time, with some effort, vector data were extractable from the telemetered data. Data coverage was about 90% through August 1968. During August 1968 to November 1969, coverage dropped to 40%. Data were recorded by NOAA, Boulder, starting in October 1970. Coverage was about 80%.

Alternate Names

  • ATS1/BiaxialFluxgateMagnetometer


  • Space Physics: Magnetospheric Studies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Prof. Paul J. Coleman, Jr.Principal InvestigatorUniversity of California, Los Angeles
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