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  • Article
  • Open Access

In-orbit calibration of the lunar magnetometer onboard SELENE (KAGUYA)

  • 17Email author,
  • 27,
  • 17,
  • 37,
  • 47,
  • 57,
  • 47,
  • 57 and
  • 17
Earth, Planets and Space200961:BF03352979

  • Received: 3 September 2008
  • Accepted: 2 August 2009
  • Published:


The high-sensitivity fluxgate Lunar MAGnetometer (LMAG) is mounted on SELENE (KAGUYA) to investigate the near-surface electromagnetic environment and the evolution of the Moon through magnetic field observation. To avoid possible electromagnetic interferences, a triaxial fluxgate sensor (MGF-S) is installed at the far end of a 12-m-long mast. It is critical for the accurate observation to monitor MGF-S alignment in orbit, and thus we have calibrated the sensor alignment by measuring the known magnetic fields generated by the sensor alignment monitor coil (SAM-C) wound onto the mast canister. In-orbit calibration of the MGF-S alignment was performed twice each revolution during the initial check-out phase of the satellite. It is concluded that there is no systematic difference in the sensor alignment between the day-side and night-side. Applying a new technique based on the Davis-Smith method to the observed magnetic field data when KAGUYA was exposed to the solar wind, a zero offset of each axis was quickly and stably determined every month. As a result, LMAG has been calibrated with an accuracy that is sufficient for detection of the lunar magnetic anomaly at an altitude of 100 km and for high-resolution electron reflectometry.

Key words

  • lunar magnetic field
  • magnetometer
  • in-orbit calibration