Theory and modelling of the magnetic field measurement in LISA PathFinder
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The magnetic diagnostics subsystem of the LISA Technology Package (LTP) on board the LISA PathFinder (LPF) spacecraft includes a set of four tri-axial fluxgate magnetometers, intended to measure with high precision the magnetic field at their respective positions. However, their readouts do not provide a direct measurement of the magnetic field at the positions of the test masses, and hence an interpolation method must be designed and implemented to obtain the values of the magnetic field at these positions. However, such an interpolation process faces serious difficulties. Indeed, the size of the interpolation region is excessive for a linear interpolation to be reliable while, on the other hand, the number of magnetometer channels do not provide sufficient data to go beyond the linear approximation. We describe an alternative method to address this issue, by means of neural network algorithms. The key point in this approach is the ability of neural networks to learn from suitable training data representing the behaviour of the magnetic field. Despite the relatively large distance between the test masses and the magnetometers, and the insufficient number of data channels, we find that our artificial neural network algorithm is able to reduce the estimation errors of the field and gradient down to levels below 10%, a quite satisfactory result. Learning efficiency can be best improved by making use of data obtained in on-ground measurements prior to mission launch in all relevant satellite locations and in real operation conditions. Reliable information on that appears to be essential for a meaningful assessment of magnetic noise in the LTP.
CitationDiaz-Aguilo, M.; García-Berro, E.; Lobo, A. Theory and modelling of the magnetic field measurement in LISA PathFinder. "Classical and quantum gravity", 12 Gener 2010, vol. 27, p. 1-17.