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Magnetic Field Observations Triaxial Fluxgate Magnetometer (MAG-A)

NSSDCA ID: 1981-070A-01

Mission Name: Dynamics Explorer 1
Principal Investigator:Dr. Masahisa Sugiura


This investigation used a triaxial fluxgate magnetometer (MAG-A), similar to one on board DE 2, to obtain vector magnetic field data needed to study the magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere coupling. The primary objective of this investigation was to obtain measurements of field-aligned currents in the auroral oval and over the polar cap at two different altitudes. This was accomplished using the two spacecraft and correlations of these measurements with observations of electric fields, plasma waves, suprathermal particles, thermal particles, and auroral images obtained from investigation 81-070A-03. Ultra low frequency (ULF) waves were also studied. The magnetometer incorporated its own 12-bit analog-to-digital converter, a 4-bit digital compensation register for each axis, and a system control to generate a 48-bit data word consisting of a 16-bit representation of the field measured along each of the three magnetometer axes. Track and hold modules were used to obtain simultaneous samples on all three axes. Instrument bandwidth was 25 Hz. The instrument dynamic range was plus or minus 6.2E4 nT, and the resolution was plus or minus 1.5 nT in the 6.2E4 nT region, plus or minus 0.25 nT in the 1.E3 nT region, and plus or minus 0.02 nT in the 80 nT region. The magnetometer's digital compensation of the ambient field was nominally in 8.E3 nT increments. Further details are in W. H. Farthing et al., Space Sci. Instrum., v. 5, n. 4, p. 551, 1981.

Alternate Names

  • DynamicsExplorer1/MAG-A
  • MAG-A
  • Magnetic Field Observations

Facts in Brief

Mass: 4.5 kg
Power (avg): 4.1 W
Bit rate (avg): 0.6 kbps

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • Space Physics: Magnetospheric Studies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Mr. Robert M. Candey



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. James A. SlavinGeneral ContactNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Winfield H. FarthingOther InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Brian G. LedleyOther InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Prof. Laurence J. Cahill, Jr.Other InvestigatorUniversity of Minnesota
Dr. James A. SlavinOther InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Masahisa SugiuraPrincipal InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight
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