Magnetic gradiometry using frequency-domain filtering

Jodie B. Ream, Benjamin P. Weiss, Rona Oran, Carol A. Raymond, Carol A. Polanskey, Daniel D. Wenkert, Linda T. Elkins-Tanton, Richard A. Hart, Christopher T. Russell, Jose M.G. Merayo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Accurate measurements of ambient planetary and interplanetary magnetic fields using spacecraft magnetometers typically require accounting for interfering magnetic fields generated by the flight system (FS). The most common method for removing FS-generated time-variable magnetic fields is narrow-band and low-pass filtering of magnetic field data in the frequency domain. However, if fluctuations in the ambient field contain frequencies overlapping those in the FS field, it can be difficult to construct a filter that will not affect both signals. Here we present an alternate method for removing FS time-variable signatures from magnetic field measurements. For spacecraft that make use of a magnetic gradiometer (i.e. with two or more instruments on a boom at different distances from the center of the spacecraft), the dominant frequencies in the FS field can be identified using spectra of the differenced field components. The amplitudes of the FS field at those frequencies can then be suppressed without removing spectral peaks present in the ambient field. We demonstrate the successful application of this method, referred to as gradiometry peak suppression, both to modeled data sets and to 128 Hz Venus Express magnetometer data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number015104
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Gradiometry
  • Magnetic fields
  • Spectral analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetic gradiometry using frequency-domain filtering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this