Distributed Acquisition for Geomagnetic Research (DAGR) for SmallSats
Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Geomagnetic field measurements are a fundamental, key parameter measurement for any space weather application, particularly for tracking the electromagnetic energy input in the Ionosphere-Thermosphere system and for high latitude dynamics governed by the large-scale field-aligned currents. The full characterization of the Magnetosphere-Ionosphere-Thermosphere coupled system necessitates measurements with higher spatial/temporal resolution and from multiple locations simultaneously. This becomes extremely challenging in the current state of shrinking budgets. Traditionally, including a science-grade magnetometer in a mission necessitates very costly integration and design (sensor on long boom) and imposes magnetic cleanliness restrictions on all components of the bus and payload. Recent advances in Smallsat and Cubesat developments offer a pathway for the proliferation of measurements. However, the Cubesat bus is a small volume in which to include all traditional bus components and payload, and the low cost of such programs makes the acquisition of clean Geomagnetic field observations a challenge. This work presents our approach of combining multiple sensitive onboard sensors with an innovative algorithm approach that enables high quality magnetic field measurements in Cubesats.