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Triaxial Magnetometer

NSSDCA ID: 1968-100A-01

Mission Name: Pioneer 9
Principal Investigator:Dr. Charles P. Sonett


A boom-mounted, triaxial fluxgate magnetometer was used to study the interplanetary magnetic field and its fluctuations. The sensors were orthogonally mounted with one axis parallel to the spacecraft spin axis. Upon command, a motor interchanged a sensor in the spin plane with the sensor along the spin axis, enabling inflight determination of zero levels. Every 24 hours, the instrument was commanded into a self-calibrate sequence, and this was often repeated after the sensors were flipped. The instrument, which had a dynamic range of plus or minus 200 nT with a resolution of plus or minus 0.2 nT, was capable of inflight demodulation of the signals received from the two sensors in the spin plane. Each magnetic field component was digitized into a 10-bit telemetry word. Nine magnetic field components, comprising three magnetic field vectors, were transmitted in each spacecraft telemetry frame.

Alternate Names

  • Pioneer9/TriaxialMagnetometer


  • Space Physics: Heliospheric Studies

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. David S. ColburnOther InvestigatorNASA Ames Research Center
Dr. Charles P. SonettPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of Arizona
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