The Mercury magnetospheric orbiter (MMO) of the Japanese-European BepiColombo mission carries a dual-sensor magnetometer, MMO/MGF. The sensors are of the classical fluxgate type mounted on a boom. For redundancy, each sensor carries its own electronics and is connected to a different data processing unit. MMO/MGF can sample the magnetic field at a rate of up to 128 Hz. The resulting comparatively high time resolution of the magnetic field measurements, i.e., down to 8 ms, will be necessary when studying the dynamics of and processes within the Hermean magnetosphere, since the Mariner 10 observations have shown that their typical time scales are much shorter than in the Earth's magnetosphere, by about a factor of 30. The high time resolution will also be very useful for studying the evolution of the still young solar wind plasma as well as interplanetary shocks at 0.3-0.46 AU. Of course, MMO/MGF is also well-prepared to assist the sister magnetometer aboard the Mercury planetary orbiter, MPO/MAG, in measuring Mercury's intrinsic magnetic field, in particular by helping to distinguish between temporal fluctuations and spatial variations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science