The Psyche Magnetometry Investigation

Benjamin P.Weiss, José M.G. Merayo, Jodie B. Ream, Rona Oran, Peter Brauer, Corey J. Cochrane, Kyle Cloutier, Linda T Elkins-Tanton, John L. Jørgensen, Clara Maurel, Ryan S. Park, Carol Polanskey, Maria de Soria Santacruz-Pich, Carol A. Raymond, Christopher T. Russell, Daniel Wenkert, Mark A. Wieczorek, Maria T. Zuber

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Abstract

The objective of the Psyche Magnetometry Investigation is to test the hypothesis that asteroid (16) Psyche formed from the core of a differentiated planetesimal. To address this, the Psyche Magnetometer will measure the magnetic field around the asteroid to search for evidence of remanent magnetization. Paleomagnetic measurements of meteorites and dynamo theory indicate that a diversity of planetesimals once generated dynamo magnetic fields in their metallic cores. Likewise, the detection of a strong magnetic moment (>2×1014 Am2) at Psyche would likely indicate that the body once generated a core dynamo, implying that it formed by igneous differentiation. The Psyche Magnetometer consists of two three-axis fluxgate Sensor Units (SUs) mounted 0.7 m apart along a 2.15-m long boom and connected to two Electronics Units (EUs) located within the spacecraft bus. The Magnetometer samples at up to 50 Hz, has a range of ±80,000 nT, and an instrument noise of 39 pTaxis−13σ integrated over 0.1 to 1 Hz. The two pairs of SUs and EUs provide redundancy and enable gradiometry measurements to suppress noise from flight system magnetic fields. The Magnetometer will be powered on soon after launch and acquire data for the full duration of the mission. The ground data system processes the Magnetometer measurements to obtain an estimate of Psyche’s dipole moment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Volume219
Issue number22
Number of pages47
ISSN0038-6308
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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