Space Qualified Attitude Control Magnetometers

Radiation Hardness

Total ionizing dose (TID) testing was performed on an unshielded instrument at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Cobalt 60 Radiation Test Facility in Greenbelt, Maryland. Testing was performed for 14 days at a dose rate of 16 RADs per minute or 23 kRADs per day for a TID of >306 kRADs. The test concluded after 14 days as allocated facility time had expired. The instrument was fully re-tested after radiation exposure. Parametric shifts were minimal (bias offset change of <0.07 mG) and the easily met all specifications.


EMI testing was performed at the Orbital Sciences Environmental Testing Facility in Germantown, Maryland, and Windermere Environmental Test Facility in Annapolis, Maryland. The instrument passed all tests. Tests performed were: RS103, RE102, CE101, CS06, CE102/ CS101, CS114, CS101 Rev. D

Random Vibration

Random vibration and shock testing was performed at the Orbital Sciences Environmental Testing Facility in Germantown, Maryland. The TFM100S qualified to 23G RMS in all three axes. The TFM100G2 qualified to 27G RMS in all three axes. The TFM100 baseline design has also been tested and qualified by Northrop Aviation for flight use in a military program. Among the tests performed, was a nine hour 28 G RMS random vibration test.

Lightweight Shock

Two series of 180 kilogram sliding ballistic pendulums were applied to the housing from distances of 30 cm, 90cm and 150 cm. All parameters were measured before and after shock testing. The instrument values were virtually identical before and after shock testing, indicating no degradation in performance.

Thermal Cycling

Thermal cycling from -24°C to +60°C, was performed 7 times in the Billingsley Aerospace non-magnetic environmental chamber.

Thermal Vacuum

Thermal vacuum testing was performed at Swales Aerospace in Beltsville, Maryland. The instrument was cycled from -15°C to +55°C at 10-5 torr, 6 hour soak at each temperature extreme.