Space Instrumentation Build and Calibration Facilities

The Space Magnetometer Laboratory has many facilities to enable us to build and calibrate magnetic field experiments for space missions.


Building instruments

We have the following capabilites in house:

  • Electronics Design, Assembly & Test
  • Inspection Quality Assurance
  • Manufacture of precision mechanical parts
  • Clean Room Class 10,000

Ground Calibration of Magnetometers

To correctly characterise our magnetometers for the space environment they are rigourously tested and calibrated at a calibration facility on the ground.

Our calibration facilites are located out of London in the magnetically quiet environment at the site of Ultra Electronics in Staffordshire.  We have a 3 axis Helmholtz coil facility for characterising our instruments over a temperature range of -50C to 125C and a low field, stable temperature test environment for long term drift measurements.  Good characterisation of the instruments on the ground before flight is essential for effective in-flight calibration of the instruments in space.

Measuring and demagnetising spacecraft subsystems

We have a portable coil facility for measuring the magnetic moment of and demagnetising spacecraft subsystems such as propulsions systems, batteries, electronics and payload.  This was used on the NASA Themis mission.