Magnetics in Space


Feb 1st 2023 - Feb 1st 2023

Leicester, United Kingdom

Updated 4.4.23


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Space exploration continues to be an extremely valuable tool in increasing the understanding of the Universe, as well as life on Earth, as we push the boundaries of scientific and technical limits.

This seminar will focus on magnetic challenges and considerations in the design and manufacture of spacecraft, as well as the role of magnetics in space applications and missions. Speakers from industry and academia will cover subjects including magnetic cleanliness, measurement and sensors, in addition to talks on magnetic aspects of the JUICE, LISA, VIGIL, Lunar Gateway and BepiColombo missions and some interesting magnetic phenomena that are observed in space.


The event will take place at the National Space Centre in Leicester, UK

National Space Centre
Exploration Drive,
To park at the venue you will need a parking permit. This will be sent around but if you do not receive this by 31 Jan please speak to Laura events@ukmagsoc.org for the permit.


The event will run from 09:00-18:00 (UK time) and will include talks, a planetarium show, tour of the exhibit and networking opportunities. A draft of the programme will be shared in due course.

The planetarium show will be – We Are Guardians

The world, its peoples and environments are connected and interdependent. From the smallest bacteria to the largest ocean whale; there exists a link between all things. In a world out of balance, We Are Guardians looks at how ecosystems are intrinsically connected and with the increasing use of Satellite Monitoring, examines the links between human activities and climate change. 


Please let us know as soon as possible if you have any dietary requirements we need to be aware of.


Novotel Leicester 

Great Central Square, Leicester, LE14JS, United Kingdom

Holiday Inn Leicester City

29 St Nicholas Circle, Leicester, LE1 5LX, United Kingdom

There are no special rates for this hotel for UK Mag Soc Delegates at this time.


The dress code for the event is business attire / smart casual.


Please note, by providing contact details during registration, you authorise us to

  • use these contact details to let you know details of this event, and
  • add your contact details to our contact database to let you know about future events that may be of interest.

Please let us know at enquiries@ukmagsoc.org at any time if you do not wish to be contacted in this way. Also, we can remove you from our contact schedule at any point in the future.

We will also be taking photos at the event. If you do not wish to have your photo taken during the event, please contact events@ukmagsoc.org



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Event Travel Information

By Car
The National Space Centre is located just off the A6, two miles north of Leicester City Centre, midway between Leicester’s inner and outer ring roads. Brown road signs with a distinctive rocket logo will direct you from the arterial routes around Leicester.

There are over 400 parking spaces in the car park, including 23 enhanced accessibility spaces, charged at £3 per car and £5 per motorhome/minibus for the whole day (contactless or cash pay and display machines on site).

By Rail
East Midland Trains and Cross Country Trains serve Leicester Station. From here you can either take a bus or a taxi to the National Space Centre. First bus 54 runs every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday and every 20 minutes on Sunday from Charles Street, a short walk from the station


Magnetic sensor and component charactisation for space applications
by Stuart Harmon of NPL

NPL as the UK’s National Measurement Institute (NMI) maintains and disseminates measurement standards, with traceability to SI units. The range of magnetics capabilities maintained include the charaterisation of magnetic sensors from nT-level to several T, Field @ Distance and magnetic moment measurements to assess magnetic cleanliness. This presentation will outline NPL’s capabilities in these areas, with a focus on space applications using our ambient field cancellation system. It will also highlight current research activities, along with examples of recent government funded industrial research projects.

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The Magnetic Universe
by Stuart Clark of Expanded Universe Ltd

In the study of the Universe at large, magnetism has often been seen as playing second fiddle to gravitation. In this broad overview, I will present a round up of results that are subtly changing this picture, and proving how important magnetism is on various scales - from within the solar system to across the largest galaxies and clusters.

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Geomagnetic mapping with nanosatellites
by Hugo Shelley of Iota Technology

Is it possible to capture accurate geomagnetic data from a 3U CubeSat? This talk will cover some of the challenges facing the design of the Io satellite, and how our team is overcoming them with a new miniature instrument package (SIGMA) and deployable boom. Io is one of three missions supported by Magquest – a development program accelerating novel approaches to geomagnetic data collection. Our aim is to capture data of sufficient quality to support the World Magnetic Model, a vital component of all precision navigation systems.

Magnetic Cleanliness of JUICE mission
by Zoltán Kiss of ESA (European Space Agency)

Among others, the main magnetic challenges of the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE) mission are the AC magnetic requirements that start from very low frequency (100nHz) or ask for very low levels (below 100 fT) on top of the DC magnetic limit of 2nT at the location of the scientific magnetometers. These J-MAG (JUICE Magnetometer) and RPWI (Radio & Plasma Wave Investigation) driven requirements can be respected only with: - Rigorous spacecraft magnetic design that utilizing unique solutions - Comprehensive environment control to avoid re-magnetization of the spacecraft throughout its on-ground life time - Coordinated unit level verification campaigns (already with Engineering Models) to ensure consistent input into the system budget - Overall verification strategy that is based on combination of novel test methods and fine-tuned post-processing plus tailored analyses from unit level through subsystem level up-to spacecraft level. The combination of these aspects gives the core of the magnetic cleanliness program of JUICE for which the main pillars with examples and results will be outlined for the audience.

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ADAM - Advanced DC and AC Magnetic Verification for the LISA Mission and Beyond
by Max Pudney of Airbus

For the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission to detect gravitational waves successfully, requirements exist to limit the acceleration noise due to magnetic fields at the location of the payload test masses (TMs). Apportioning the system level limits at unit level yields requirements that are challenging to verify due to their low frequency range (measuring as low as 20µHz) and high sensitivity (<2nT/√Hz at 1mHz). The Advanced DC and AC Magnetic verification project (ADAM) aims to improve the current facility capability to meet the needs of LISA, building on heritage from the existing Mobile Coil Facility (MCF) upgrade and development of the AC Magnetic Field Verification Methods employed recently on the Jupiter Icy moons Explorer (JUICE) project. ADAM will also draw on heritage from the successful LISA Pathfinder (LPF) mission, while maintaining the capability of previous facilities, in order to push forward the state-of-the-art in unit level magnetic field verification.

Miniaturized Low Resource Science-Grade Magnetometer for Space Weather and Space Physics Research
by Aria Vitkova of Imperial College London

In recent years, small satellite missions have become a popular cost-effective solution for carrying out critical scientific research. However, space grade magnetometers used for space physics and space weather monitoring typically employ fluxgate sensors and are traditionally large and heavy instruments incompatible with a small satellite mission. MAGIC, MAGnetometer from Imperial College, is a miniaturized low resource magnetometer that can deliver science-grade data at a fraction of the power consumption and size of a traditional fluxgate magnetometer. With a mass of less than 100 g and power consumption less than 0.8 W, MAGIC delivers high quality science data while compatible with a small satellite mission. The MAGIC instrument is a heritage instrument that was originally developed at the Imperial College London for the CINEMA nanosatellite mission launched in 2013. Since then, it was also launched as a part of the ESA’s RadCube space weather monitoring mission in 2022. A new generation MAGIC instrument is currently under development for the ERSA (European Radiation Sensor Array) module for the Lunar Gateway mission, which aims to put astronauts in an orbit around the Moon for the first time in human history and perform science experiments in the high radiation environment outside of the Earth’s magnetic field.

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Magnetometers for missions to the outer planets.
by Patrick Brown of Imperial College London

Magnetic field measurements made by space missions sent to the outer planets have made a wealth of discoveries over the years, from the measurement of the largest known planetary dynamo in the solar system at Jupiter to the discovery of a sub-surface liquid ocean on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. These missions require magnetometers with the best sensitivity possible across a wide dynamic range while at the same time having excellent calibration stability in extreme environments. In this talk I will describe the design requirements for magnetometer instruments on outer planetary missions focusing in particular on the European Space Agency JUICE to the Jupiter system.

Mercury’s Unexpected Magnetosphere
by Simon Lindsay of University of Leicester

If any planet could have been expected not to have a magnetosphere, it’s Mercury – the smallest and closest to the Sun of the terrestrial planets. Yet Mercury has its own unique – and extremely active – magnetic environment, generated by its huge iron core. This talk will cover the current state of our knowledge about Mercury’s magnetic field, describe some of its stranger features such as its X-ray aurorae, show how we can investigate magnetic phenomena with instruments designed for completely different purposes, and look forward to the BepiColombo mission to Mercury which will tell us a great deal more about its environment when it arrives in 2026.

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Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre – Critical magnetic measurements and future plans
by Simon Machin of Met Office

The presentation will deliver an overview of the Met Office space weather programme, the services provided, the role understanding magnetism plays in this and the key activities which will lead to future space weather service development. The talk will highlight the need for resilience of national assets as set out in the National Space Strategy and the UK Severe Space Weather Preparedness Strategy, which underpins the Met Office space weather programme. The Met Office works with many partners across academia to develop capability and services and a key example of this is the Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk programme managed through STFC and NERC. This and other initiatives and missions such as Solar Orbiter (carrying the Imperial MAG instrument) and the future ESA Vigil mission will further enhance the magnetic measurements available to the UK science community and for use by the Met Office. These will ultimately lead to more reliable and sophisticated models which when pulled through into operations will provide the services demanded by government and industry to assure resilience.

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TimeSession TitleSession Host
09:30WelcomeGraeme Finch
09:45The Magnetic UniverseStuart Clark, Expanded Universe Ltd
10:15Mercury’s Unexpected MagnetosphereSimon Lindsay, University of Leicester
10:45Coffee break
11:15Magnetic sensor and component charactisation for space applicationsStuart Harmon, NPL
11:45Geomagnetic mapping with nanosatellites Hugo Shelley, Iota Technology
12:15Planetarium: We are Guardian
13:45Magnetic Cleanliness of JUICE missionZoltan Kiss, European Space Agency (ESA)
14:15ADAM - Advanced DC and AC Magnetic Verification for the LISA Mission and BeyondMax Pudney, Airbus
14:45Miniaturized Low Resource Science-Grade Magnetometer for Space Weather and Space Physics ResearchAria Vitkova, Space Magnetometer Laboratory, Imperial College London
15:15Coffee and exhibit
15:45Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre – Critical magnetic measurements and future plansSimon Machin, Met Office
16:15Magnetometers for missions to the outer planetsPatrick Brown, Imperial College London
16:45ClosePatrick Brown