NSS Magnetometer


The design of the tri-axial magnetometer utilises Anisotropic Magneto-Resistance (AMR). The sensors are implemented as ceramic packages and co-located with drive electronics in a potted sensor head – ideally at the end of a rigid boom. Closed loop control improves the overall linearity and limits sensitivity drift.

The MR driver ensures the sensor maintains low noise operation by holding the sensor at its optimum position on the sensor transfer function. The sensors delivers the three components of the magnetics field plus a temperature measurement.

In CubeSat applications the magnetometer requires an electronics mezzanine card one third the area of a standard CubeSat PCB. The sensors connects to the mezzanine via a lightweight harness. Power requirements are one digital (3.3 or 5V) and one analogue (12V-15V) line. A digital serial interface can be included if required. In microsat applications, the additional electronics is integrated with the sensor head resulting in a very compact unit that is simple to accommodate.

  • Features
  • Performance
  • Product properties
  • Qualification
  • Documents
  • Low cost magneto-resistive magnetometer designed for use in LEO smallsats and CubeSats
  • Can be used for the calculation of magnetorquers control torque levels
  • Attitude determination sensor, when used with an IGRF reference model
  • Angular rate determination sensor by comparing successive measurements
  • Small size and low mass
  • Radiation tolerant COTS
  • Supplied with calibration matrix
  • Orthogonality: better than +/- 1°
  • Measurement range: +60,000nT to -60,000nT
  • Sensitivity: 6.5nT
  • Update rate: up to 10Hz
  • Noise density: <500pT RMS/Hz @1Hz
  • Power consumption: <700 mW
  • 3-axis analogue output: 0-5V or Serial (RS422 or I2C) options
  • Temperature output 0-5V
  • Dimensions: 96x43x17mm
  • Mass: <200g
  • Operating temperature: -35°C to +75°C
  • 15g rms random vibration (qualification levels)
  • 10krad total dose (component level)

Developed in collaboration with the Space and Atmospheric Physics Group of Imperial College London; the sensor head first flew on the CINEMA mission and then as an integrated unit in July 2014. Since then the NewSpace magnetometer has had four further flights and is base-lined for three further missions.