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InSight Fluxgate (IFM) Magnetometer

NSSDCA ID: 2018-042A-06

Mission Name: InSight
Principal Investigator:Dr. Christopher T. Russell


The primary objective of the InSight Fluxgate (IFG) Magnetometer is to support the operation of the seismometer experiment by measuring magnetic signals in the passband of the seismometer so that any extraneous non-seismic signals caused by electromagnetic phenomena can be identified in the data. The signals may be from the spacecraft or the martian ionosphere. The magnetometer is part of the InSight Auxiliary Payload Sensor System (APSS) and its main function is not as a scientific instrument.

The IFG Magnetometer package comprises a sensor, interconnecting harness, and electronics board. The sesor is a triaxial fluxgate magnetometer with three orthogonal sensors mounted on the science deck of the InSight lander. It can measure DC magnetic fields from -20,000 to +20,000 nT with an accuracy better than 0.1 nT/(square root HZ) from a frequency of 0.1 to 1 Hz. Output data is streamed constantly at 2 Hz.

Direct science may be possible using the magnetometer data. The local crustal magnetic field and its fluctuations will be measured, and may give information on the interior electrical conductivity and even the size of the core. Fluctuations due to ionospheric activity can, when combined with orbital data on space conditions, give information on the magnetic field at the ionosphere. Atmospheric phenomena, such as lightning and dust devils, may also be detected.

Alternate Names

  • Insight/InSightFluxgateMagnetometer(IFM)
  • urn:nasa:pds:context:instrument:apss-ifg.insight


  • Planetary Science: Fields and Particles

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Christopher T. RussellPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of California, Los

Selected References

  • Banfield, D., et al., InSight Auxiliary Payload Sensor Suite (APSS), Space Sci. Rev., 215, 4, doi:10.1007/s11214-018-0570-x, 2019.
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