BackForwardInstrument:  MFI 

Instrument details
Acronym MFI
Full name Magnetic Field Investigation
Purpose investigation of the structure and fluctuations of the interplanetary magnetic field (transport of energy and acceleration of particles in the solar wind)
Short description Two triaxial fluxgate magnetometers (boom mounted). Eight dynamic ranges: ± 4 nT by ground command, ± 16 nT, ± 64 nT, ± 256 nT, ± 1024 nT, ± 4096 nT, ± 16,384 nT and ± 65,536 nT. Resolution ± 16 nT @ maximum of dynamics. Accuracy 0.006 nT
Background Part of a package of instruments to observe the solar wind
Scanning Technique Sun pointing from the L1 Lagrange libration point
Resolution N/A
Coverage / Cycle Full solar disk, sampling at 0.09 s intervals
Mass 2.6 kg Power 2.4 W Data Rate


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1995-02-15 to ≥2022
Last update: 2021-11-10
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Solar and space environment monitors
  • Field or radiowave sensor
WIGOS Subcomponents
  • Subcomponent 1
  • Solar wind in situ plasma and energetic particles, magnetic field, at L1
  • Solar wind at L1 - Magnetometer
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Interplanetary magnetic field
Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
Note: * Primary mission objective.
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Interplanetary magnetic field*3 - highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary, vectorial, wide dynamics, coarse resolution