ISRO Deploys Magnetometer Boom on Aditya-L1

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Aditya-L1-Spacecraft
Aditya L1 Spacecraft (Image Credit: isro.gov.in)

The deployment of the magnetometer boom on the Aditya-L1 satellite by ISRO was a success. This six-meter-long boom is designed to measure the low-intensity interplanetary magnetic field in space. Placed in the Halo orbit at Lagrange point L-1, the space agency announced that the deployment occurred on January 11, following 132 days in the stowed condition since the launch of Aditya-L1.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) stands as one of the pioneering forces in space exploration. With its headquarters in Bangalore, India, it has achieved many milestones, including launching a myriad of satellites, executing interplanetary missions, and successfully conducting indigenous space research. ISRO’s commitment to cost-effectiveness and innovation has garnered international acclaim.

ISRO has reported that the boom is equipped with two advanced fluxgate magnetometer sensors, designed for high accuracy in measuring the interplanetary magnetic field’s low intensity in space. These sensors are positioned at distances of three and six meters from the spacecraft body.

Placing them at these specific distances helps reduce the impact of the magnetic field generated by the spacecraft on measurements. The use of two sensors aids in the precise estimation of this influence. The dual-sensor system enables effective cancellation of the spacecraft’s magnetic impact, ensuring more accurate measurements.

Constructed from carbon fiber-reinforced polymer, the boom segments function as interfaces for mounting sensors and mechanism elements. The articulated boom mechanism consists of five segments connected by spring-driven hinge mechanisms, enabling both folding and deploying actions.

Deployment takes place in an accordion-like manner, governed by an innovative patented Kevlar closed control loop mechanism. The hinges secure the segments into the deployed configuration. During the stowed condition, the boom is securely held in place by two hold-downs, effectively transferring launch loads to the spacecraft body.

To initiate boom deployment, a thermal cutter-based release system is utilized, responding to specific commands. Telemetry switches provide data, confirming the release of hold-downs, initial motion, and the locking of all hinges. The in-orbit deployment time observed was approximately 9 seconds, well within the predicted range of 8 to 12 seconds.

All telemetry indications related to hinge locking and hold-down release were within nominal parameters, according to received data. India’s inaugural solar mission, Aditya-L1, successfully reached the L1 point on January 6, achieving this milestone 127 days after its launch on September 2, 2023.

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