BackForwardInstrument:  SCM 

Instrument details
Acronym SCM
Full name Search Coil Magnetometer
Purpose To measure magnetic field fluctuations and waves in Earth's dynamic magnetosphere to determine the instability that triggers substorms
Short description The variations of the magnetic flux are measured by threading three orthogonal high permeability μ-metal rods. Dynamic range of oscillations: 0.0001-4 kHz
Background Part of a package of instruments to study the Magnetosphere
Scanning Technique 5 satellites moving to different positions into the Magnetosphere for 3-D field reconstruction
Resolution N/A
Coverage / Cycle Full magnetospheric volume
Mass 2 kg Power 0.1 W Data Rate


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 2008-01-15 to ≥2021
Last update: 2017-04-13
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 No WIGOS subcomponents have been defined.
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Electron Density
  • Ionospheric plasma density
Secondary mission objectives
  • Geomagnetic field
Opportunity objectives
  • Electric Field
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Tentative 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
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Geomagnetic field5 - marginalNo specific limitation.Magnetic field measured through observation of oscillations of the magnetic field
Electric Field3 - highNo specific limitation.Electric field measured by magnetic field oscillations
Ionospheric plasma density2 - very highNo specific limitation.Ionospheric plasma density measured through observation of oscillations of the magnetic field
Electron Density3 - highNo specific limitation.Electron density measured through observation of oscillations of the magnetic field