Space Magnetometer Laboratory

Precision magnetic field instruments for space-flight

We are a team of scientists and engineers involved in the research and development of instruments, called magnetometers, for flight on scientific spacecraft.

These magnetometers measure magnetic fields to a high degree of accuracy and precision.  Our instrumentation is currently in flight on the ClusterCassini and Venus Express spacecraft and successfully flew on the Double Star and Ulysses spacecraft until  the end of these missions.

We are supporting the magnetometer on the upcoming Bepi Colombo mission.  We have been selected to build the magnetometer for ESA's M-class Solar Orbiter mission and the first L-class mission to Jupiter and the Galilean moons, JUICE.

Welcome to the Space Magnetometer Laboratory

The Space Magnetometer lab is part of the Space and Atmospheric Physics Group at Imperial College London.  We support the work of the scientists in the Group by providing magnetic field data for research into HeliosphericSolar TerrestrialPlanetary Aeronomy and Planetary Magnetospheric Physics.

Designing and building space instruments

  • we design and build, precise, accurate, radiation tolerant magnetometers for space missions
  • we build data processing units and power converters for space instruments
  • these activities are supported by extensive facilities: a class 10000 clean room for flight instrument assembly, a mobile coil facility for magnetic characterisation, and a magnetometer calibration facility for pre-launch calibration

Supporting our in-flight instruments

Research Activities

Our research centres around developing smaller, lighter, cheaper and more power efficient instrumentation for future space missions.

  • we are designing and building a digital magnetometer 
  • we are examining the use of magnetic field sensor arrays to characterise spacecraft generated fields, to enable them to be better removed from the magnetometer data.
  • Space Magnetometer Lab publications