Magnetics in Space


Jan 29th 2020 - Jan 29th 2020

Updated 13/01/20

The space sector is a rapidly growing market with unique requirements for high-quality manufacturing and magnetic measurements.

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, attitude control and propulsion systems, in addition to talks on magnetic aspects of the JUICE, SWARM and Solar Orbiter missions.

The programme is being developed, and there’ll be more details as they’re finalised.


  • Dr Graeme Finch, NPL
  • Dr Ellie Galanis, Paragraf Ltd
  • Mr Olivier Masseglia, Bartington Instruments Ltd


The whole event is taking place at the Satellite Applications Catapult, Electron Building, Fermi Avenue, Harwell Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QR, UK


We would like to suggest the following two hotels which are within 3km of the Catapult Building:

Milton Hill House (De Vere) Milton Hill, Steventon, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX13 6AF

+44(0)0844 9802314 / miltonhill@deverevenues.co.uk / www.deverevenues.co.uk

Courtyard by Marriott Oxford South 6 Milton Gate Milton Park, Abingdon, OX14 4FP

+ 44 (0)1865 671480 / www.marriott.com


The following link will provide you with directions by road to Harwell Campus  https://sa.catapult.org.uk/contact-us/how-to-find-us/ There are 2 maps for parking on Campus, also under the Satellite Applications Catapult Car Parks map (beige coloured map) there is another more detailed map of Campus parking.  To note that the car parks are approximately a 15 minute walk from the venue.  This link will also provide you with transport links.


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.


Ferrite Level


The Use of Magnets in Ion Thrusters for the Coming Mega Satellite Constellations
by Charlie Ryan of University of Southampton

There are various planned mega constellations of satellites that will be launched over the next several years. These constellations of thousands of satellites require significant orbit raising, station keeping and end of life deorbiting, requirements that are beyond conventional chemical propulsion. Consequently they are using ion thrusters, in particular hall thrusters, which operate through the application of magnetic and electrostatic fields to a plasma. This talk will outline how magnets are essential to the operation of these ion thrusters, and helping to herald a step change in spacecraft engineering.

You must be a member to download papers. Membership Information...

The SWARM Mission
by Jose Merayo of DTU Space

The ESA’s Swarm satellites were launched on Nov 2013 and are equipped with very high accuracy instrumentation for measuring the geomagnetic field. The main instrument, i.e. the Vector Field magnetometer (VFM), is co-mounted with the star trackers (STR) in a very stable optical bench, which is located in a boom away from the spacecraft body in order reduce disturbances. On the tip of the boom there is an absolute scalar magnetometer (ASM), which provides verification of the stability of the VFM. After 6 years of operation, the magnetometry package is producing continuous science data of very high quality which has led to outstanding science results. This allows to understand the structure of the inner Earth and how the geodynamo evolves in time. Other planets in our solar system have a magnetic field that can be more complex than the one from Earth.

Design Drivers for Spacecraft Magnetometers, in particular ESA'a JUICE mission to Jupiter
by Patrick Brown of Imperial College

Magnetometer instruments have been flown on many space missions over the years due to their wide scope of scientific applications covering everything from Earth field mapping, planetary, magnetospheric and solar physics to interplanetary shocks and fundamental plasma physics. Our laboratory at the Blackett Laboratory has over 50 years of history in the development and operation of highly accurate DC magnetometers in space. I will present the design drivers for magnetometers on different missions, how the scientific goals drive the spacecraft EMC condition and describe the design and performance of our magnetometers with particular focus on the upcoming European Space Agency JUICE mission to the Jovian system.

You must be a member to download papers. Membership Information...

Frenetic Magnetic – Examples of Magnetic Fields in Space!
by Barry Kellett of RAL Space

My talk is actually the first half of a one hour talk. The full talk covers a “journey” from the Earth to the heart of very active galaxies called quasars. However, today I will only cover the first half of the journey from the Earth via the Moon and then the gas giant planets. Then to the Sun and the discovery of sunspots and the Sun’s magnetic cycle and ending with some of my own work on a very special and unusual magnetic star – CU Virginis!

You must be a member to download papers. Membership Information...

Solar Orbiter: Magnetic Control & Verification
by Max Pudney of Airbus

Solar Orbiter is an ESA mission to investigate how the Sun creates and controls the heliosphere. It will travel within the orbit of Mercury and take pictures of the Sun closer than ever before, including over polar regions. The magnetic field is critical to how the Sun controls the heliosphere, and measurements provide imperative data that allows particle measurements at the spacecraft location to be linked to events seen on the Solar surface, helping to answer key outstanding questions. To ensure the spacecraft itself does not interfere with these measurements, a magnetic cleanliness programme was followed on Solar Orbiter. This talk will discuss some of the design choices, controls during integration, analysis and verification performed to ensure the magnetic measurements are capturing what’s happening in space and not what’s happening on the spacecraft!

You must be a member to download papers. Membership Information...

AC Magnetic Field Verification Methods Used in Space Applications and Missions
by Christian Trenkel & Dongsheng Zhao of Airbus & ESA

A new method for the verification of AC magnetic field requirements has recently been developed. In the first part of the talk, the fundamental theoretical principles underlying the new method will be presented, together with a description of how these principles have been applied to the design of the new method. In the second part of the talk, the complete setup including the hardware, the software and the test procedure are presented. The data post-processing is explained, and special attention is given to the good practice that ensures a good measurement.

You must be a member to download papers. Membership Information...

You must be a member to download papers. Membership Information...

Government support for innovation and R&D in the space sector
by Andy Bennett of Knowledge Transfer Network

Andy will give an overview of support available for companies (and academics) involved in innovation and R&D. This will include an overview of industry focused R&D funding schemes.

You must be a member to download papers. Membership Information...

How magnetic fields contrain early Solar System formation: insights from meteorites
by Evelyn Baker of Imperial College

One unanswered question about the formation of the Solar System is how planetesimals formed, these are smaller bodies (1-1000 km diameter) which grew to form planets. Investigating magnetism in the early Solar System could be key to understanding this stage of Solar System evolution. Some theories involve planetesimals evolving quickly and having core dynamos which produced relatively strong planetesimal-wide magnetic fields. These magnetic fields would be recorded by the rocks making up the crust of these bodies. Meteorites from these crusts can be studied to reveal the strength of the magnetic field they recorded at this time. This information can be used to try to evaluate whether these bodies were magnetized by a dynamo field or a planetary nebula field as suggested by other models of planetesimal formation.

You must be a member to download papers. Membership Information...


TimeSession TitleSession Host
09:00Registration opens
10:00The Use of Magnets in Ion Thrusters for the Coming Mega Satellite ConstellationsCharlie Ryan, University of Southampton
10:30Frenetic Magnetic – Examples of Magnetic Fields in Space!Barry Kellett, RAL Space
11:30Solar Orbiter: Magnetic Control & VerificationMax Pudney, Airbus
12:00Government support for innovation and R&D in the space sectorAndy Bennett, Knowledge Transfer Network
13:30The SWARM MissionJose Merayo, DTU Space
14:00Design Drivers for Spacecraft Magnetometers, in particular ESA'a JUICE mission to JupiterPatrick Brown, Imperial College
15:00Magnetic Fields in the Formation of the Solar SystemEvelyn Baker, Imperial College
15:30AC Magnetic Field Verification Methods Used in Space Applications and MissionsChristian Trenkel & Dongsheng Zhao, Airbus & ESA
16:00Closing Remarks
16:15Tours, if available


Type Standard Fee Group Discount
(3+ delegates)
Early Discount
(Register before 13/11/2019)
Member £115.00 20%N/A
Non-Member £145.00 20%N/A
Student / Retired Member £45.00 20%N/A
Student / Retired Non-Member £75.00 20%N/A
Exhibiting Member (+Delegate Fees) £95.00 20%N/A
Exhibiting Non-Member (+ Delegate Fees) £145.00 20%N/A
Sponsorship opportunities are available - please contact astewart@ukmagsoc.org 20%N/A
Group discounts for 5+ delegates are available; please contact astewart@ukmagsoc.org 20%N/A
Register to attend this event