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Magnetometer (MAG)

NSSDCA ID: 2004-030A-07

Mission Name: MESSENGER


The Magnetometer (MAG) on MESSENGER is designed to measure the magnetic field of Mercury at all points in the spacecraft's orbit with the scientific objective of producing a three-dimensional model of Mercury's magnetosphere. Results will also be combined with the charged particle observations to study substorms and magnetic reconnection. A total data return of roughly 440 Mb is expected over the one year nominal mission.

MAG is a three-axis ring core fluxgate magnetometer mounted on a 3.6 m boom in the anti-sunward direction. In orbit, the instrument will operate in the range of -1024 to +1024 nT, digitized to 16-bits to provide 0.03 nT resolution. The detector sampling rate is 40 Hz and readout rates are selectable from 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, 20, or 40 Hz. Averaging intervals can be selected from 0.025 to 1 s. Digital filters provide selectable bandpassed channels of magnetic field variation.

Alternate Names

  • MAG
  • urn:nasa:pds:context:instrument:mag.mess

Facts in Brief

Mass: 4.4 kg
Power (avg): 2 W
Bit rate (avg): 0.014 kbps

Funding Agency

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


  • Planetary Science: Fields and Particles

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Mario H. AcunaExperiment ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Selected References

  • Anderson, B. J., et al., The Magnetometer Instrument on MESSENGER, Space Sci. Rev., 131, No. 1-4, 417-450, doi:10.1007/s11214-007-9246-7, Aug. 2007.
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