EDR (European Drawer Rack)
The approved Opsnom is: MagVector
Magnetic Flux Experiment - MFX is a study on the interaction between a moving magnetic field (of Earth origin) and a very good electrical conductor.
MFX is an experiment aboard the International Space Station which qualitatively investigates the interaction between a moving magnetic field (of Earth origin) and a very good electrical conductor. The proposed set-up will provide initial insights regarding the principal feasibility on board the ISS, future improvements and phenomenological trends and dependencies. The expected changes in the magnetic field structure on the Ram and Wake side of the electrical conductor are of interest for technical applications as well as for astrophysical research. In the latter case, the ISS/MFX combination may open a way for experimental astrophysics, e.g. with regard to the interaction between the interplanetary magnetic field and Venus.
Astrophysics would thus no longer be based solely on passive observation.
MFX is using highly sensitive magnetic sensors to detect the change of the field strengths. The magnetic field and temperature data are collected over time and then transmitted via the ISS infrastructure to Bremen.
SO 1: Measure and record magnetic field changes over time/flight path while the conductor is at room temperature, in transient cooling and cold condition.
SO 2: Measure and record the Ram and Wake side as well as the ISIS drawer reference simultaneously.
SO 3: Measure and record the temperature of the conductor over time. The time tags of all records shall be synchronised with the ISS time signal.
SO 4: Re-run the measurements while the Helmholtz cage is in operation to minimise magnetic disturbances.
SO 5: ./.
SO 6: Investigation of the ISS environment with regard to its suitability as experimental astrophysical laboratory.
SO 7: Upload of a small probe of the conductor material (30 grams) in a Ziploc bag, storage in Columbus for MagVector and recovery to Earth - pefereably with Alexander Gerst or six to nine month after launch - for comparison of the material properties.
SO 8: Implementation and operation of a fast track COTS experiment.
SO 9: Before rack installation the magnetic field of the environment should be measured by the crew.
Justification for the need of space experiment:
MFX will simultaneously measure the magnetic field on the Ram and Wake side of the electrical conductor as already indicated above. Furthermore the ISS is moving through the magnetic field of the Earth - or vice versa depending on the chosen reference frame. The ISS is the only laboratory where the interaction can be studied under astrophysically relevant velocity conditions and magnetic field dimensions. It is also the only location where this can be done continously over a prolonged periode of time. The variability of the magnetic field vector - in direction and value - along the flight path is a further parameter, which can not be achieved in combination with orbital velocity and planetary dimensions in a ground laboratory.
• Magnetic Field (various locations inside and outside of the Cryostat)• Temperature (inside Cryostat)• Pressure (inside Cryostat)
|Signal||Range||Sample Frequency||Measurement Device||Comments|
||± 1 mV||1Hz||Magnetic sensor||Mini FCL 100|
|Pressure||0 – 100 mPa||1Hz||Pressure Transducer||MKS Dualtrans 910-13|
||± 1 mV||1Hz||Thermocouple||Typ K (Ni-NiCr)|
||Columbus System Camera||HD - Mode|
The motion of the ISS through the magnetic field of the Earth provides the possibility to utilise the magnetic field as simulated moving interplanetary magnetic field when considering the ISS as rest frame.
When the magnetic field is interacting with the electrical conductor a magnetic pile up is expected to happen on the Ram side while a magnetic void is expected on the Wake side.
This set up would therefore in principle simulate the astrophysical situation encountered between the interplanetary magnetic field and a planetary object like Venus.
Each sensor on the Ram and Wake side is expected to deliver a voltage output as indicated in diagramme 1.1. - idealised sketch.
The temperature sensor is expected to deliver a voltage signal as indicated in diagramme 1.2 - idealised sketch
These voltages will be transferred to ground and then converted into physical quantities.
- Fast track experiment implementation to increase industrial through put under growing financial constraints.
- A new type of utilisation of the ISS; astrophysical experiment lab rather than astrophysical observatory (AMS 02), μg lab, manned space activities.
- Better understanding of the interaction of a moving magnetic field with a good conductor will pave the way towards the realisation of new applications.
status as of March 2016
The experiment is still on-going. So far, the experiment runs have been successful. All received data show excellent value for the evaluation which is still under process. There are efforts on the way to keep the experiment running until 2018.
click on items to display
Figure 1: Interaction between Venus (electrical conductor) and the interplanetary magnetic field (moving)
Figure 2: ISS Trajectory and Earth magnetic field component
Figure 3: MFX Accommodation concept inside ISIS Drawer
Diagramme 1.1 and 1.2: Idealised sketch of Ram and Wake side voltage output and voltage signal from temperature sensor.
Figure 4: The first MagVector/MFX measuring campaign run from 17 to 19 November 2014 - almost three days without interruption. The run delivered first data for further evaluation. The 75 kg, banana-box sized container is installed in the European Drawer Rack of the European Columbus module.
DLR press release on the experiment from 12 December 2014.