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Measurements of Magnetic Field Fluctuations for Plasma Wave Investigation by the Search Coil Magnetometers (SCM) Onboard Bepicolombo Mio (Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter)

Abstract : This paper describes the design and performance of the search coil magnetometers (SCM), which are part of the Plasma Wave Investigation (PWI) instrument onboard the BepiColombo/Mio spacecraft (Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter), which will measure the electric field, plasma waves and radio waves for the first time in Mercury’s plasma environment. The SCM consists of two low-frequency orthogonal search coil sensors (LF-SC) measuring two components of the magnetic field (0.1 Hz – 20 kHz) in the spacecraft spin plane, and a dual-band search coil sensor (DB-SC) picking up the third component along the spin axis at both low-frequencies (LF: 0.1 Hz – 20 kHz) and high-frequencies (HF: 10 kHz – 640 kHz). The DB-SC and the two LF-SC sensors form a tri-axial configuration at the tip of a 4.6-m coilable mast (MAST-SC) extending from the spacecraft body, to minimize artificial magnetic field contamination emitted by the spacecraft electronics. After the successful launch of the spacecraft on 20 October 2018, an initial function check for the SCM was conducted. The nominal function and performance of the sensors and preamplifiers were confirmed, even with the MAST-SC being retracted and stowed in the spacecraft body, resulting in the detection of large interference signals likely from spacecraft electronics. The MAST-SC is scheduled for deployment after the Mercury orbit insertion of Mio in 2025, allowing the SCM to make the first higher frequency measurements of magnetic fluctuations in the Hermean magnetosphere and exosphere, and the local solar wind. These measurements will contribute to the investigation of fundamental problems in the Hermean plasma environment, including turbulence, magnetic reconnection, wave-particle interactions and particle acceleration.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-02961712
Contributor : Catherine Cardon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 4:15:40 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 4:34:01 PM

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Satoshi Yagitani, Mitsunori Ozaki, Fouad Sahraoui, Laurent Mirioni, Malik Mansour, et al.. Measurements of Magnetic Field Fluctuations for Plasma Wave Investigation by the Search Coil Magnetometers (SCM) Onboard Bepicolombo Mio (Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter). Space Science Reviews, Springer Verlag, 2020, 216 (7), pp.111. ⟨10.1007/s11214-020-00734-2⟩. ⟨insu-02961712⟩

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