Magnetic Field Reconstruction for a Realistic Multi-Point, Multi-Scale Spacecraft Observatory

T. Broeren*, K. G. Klein, J. M. TenBarge, Ivan Dors, O. W. Roberts, D. Verscharen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Future in situ space plasma investigations will likely involve spatially distributed observatories comprised of multiple spacecraft, beyond the four and five spacecraft configurations currently in operation. Inferring the magnetic field structure across the observatory, and not simply at the observation points, is a necessary step towards characterizing fundamental plasma processes using these unique multi-point, multi-scale data sets. We propose improvements upon the classic first-order reconstruction method, as well as a second-order method, utilizing magnetometer measurements from a realistic nine-spacecraft observatory. The improved first-order method, which averages over select ensembles of four spacecraft, reconstructs the magnetic field associated with simple current sheets and numerical simulations of turbulence accurately over larger volumes compared to second-order methods or first-order methods using a single regular tetrahedron. Using this averaging method on data sets with fewer than nine measurement points, the volume of accurate reconstruction compared to a known magnetic vector field improves approximately linearly with the number of measurement points.

Original languageEnglish
Article number727076
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • curlometer
  • magnetic fields
  • multi-spacecraft analysis
  • plasma physics
  • space mission analysis
  • space physics
  • spacecraft
  • vector field reconstruction


Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetic Field Reconstruction for a Realistic Multi-Point, Multi-Scale Spacecraft Observatory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this