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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


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 (US)
Article number727076
JournalFrontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
StatePublished - Sep 13 2021


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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