Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The journal Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems recently published an article "Automated static magnetic cleanliness screening for the TRACERS small-satellite mission" by former undergraduate student Cole Dorman. 

Cole Dorman

Dorman was an undergraduate student in Associate Professor David Miles' group when he completed this work. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy and is now working on his PhD at the University of Michigan.

The Tandem Reconnection and Cusp Electrodynamics Reconnaissance Satellites (TRACERS) Small Explorers mission requires high-fidelity magnetic field measurements for its magnetic reconnection science objectives and for its technology demonstration payload Magnetometers for Innovation and Capability (MAGIC). TRACERS needs to minimize the local magnetic noise through a magnetic cleanliness program such that the stray fields from the spacecraft and its instruments do not distort the local geophysical magnetic field of interest. 

In the article, Dorman, Miles and Senior Database Administrator Chris Piker present an automated magnetic screening apparatus and procedure to enable technicians to routinely and efficiently measure the magnetic dipole moments of potential flight parts to determine whether they are suitable for spaceflight. This procedure is simple, replicable, and accurate down to a dipole moment of 1.59 × 10−3 N m T−1. It will be used to screen parts for the MAGIC instrument and other subsystems of the TRACERS satellite mission to help ensure magnetically clean measurements on orbit.