Contribution of magnetic measurements onboard NetLander to Mars exploration

Michel Menvielle, Günter Musmann, Falko Kuhnke, Jean Jacques Berthelier, Karl Heinz Glassmeier, Mioara H. Mandea, Uwe Motschmann, Kari Pajunpaa, Jean Louis Pinçon, Fritz Primdahl, Laszlo Szarka

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21 Citations (Scopus)


In the frame of the international cooperation for Mars exploration, a set of 4 NetLanders developed by an European consortium is expected to land on the planet during the forthcoming years. Among other instruments, the geophysical package of each lander will include a magnetometer. The different possible contributions of magnetic measurements onboard the NetLander stations are presented. Intrinsic planetary field and remanent magnetisation investigations by means of magnetometers onboard a network of landers are first considered, and the information that can be thus derived on the Martian core dynamo and surface rocks, soil, and dust is discussed. The contribution of permanent recording of the magnetic transient variations at a network of surface stations is then discussed. The transient variations of the magnetic field at the surface of a planet has a primary external source, the interaction between the environment of the planet and solar radiation, and a secondary source, the electric currents induced in the conductive planet. The continuous recording of the time variations of the magnetic field at the surface of Mars by means of three component magnetometers installed onboard NetLander stations will therefore allow study of both the internal structure of Mars and dynamics of its ionised environment. The expected characteristics of transient magnetic variations, and their relation with plasma flow and current in the Mars ionised environment are discussed. The use of the network magnetic data to probe the internal structure of Mars is also considered. The used techniques are presented, and the information that can be thus obtained on the Mars permafrost, lithosphere and mantle structure illustrated by numerical simulations. Finally, the specifications of the instrument allowing to achieve these objectives are discussed, and the instrument described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1247
Number of pages17
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number12-14
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Menvielle, M., Musmann, G., Kuhnke, F., Berthelier, J. J., Glassmeier, K. H., Mandea, M. H., Motschmann, U., Pajunpaa, K., Pinçon, J. L., Primdahl, F., & Szarka, L. (2000). Contribution of magnetic measurements onboard NetLander to Mars exploration. Planetary and Space Science, 48(12-14), 1231-1247.