The Student Run MIMIC Mars Program

Louisiana Participation

Project Abstract:

The Magnetic Field Investigation of Mars by Interacting Consortia (MIMIC) is a conceptual study of a student designed, built, tested, and operated micro-satellite mission to Mars.  MIMIC proposes to be included as part of a 2011 NASA Mars mission, a piggyback payload that will supplement the primary mission by independently acquiring data in orbit to augment the Mars Global Surveyor magnetometer mission investimation


Primary Science Objective:

The primary MIMIC science objective is to obtain a global dataset of remanent crustal magnetic field measurements at high-resolution to provide a more complete understanding of the evolution and internal dynamics of Mars.  The MIMIC spacecraft will acquire high-resolution vector magnetic field measurements in a highly elliptical orbit about Mars.  MIMIC will make these measurements through use of two triaxial fluxgate magnetometers in a dual magnetometer configuration in order to reduce contamination of the data due to the magnetic field of the spacecraft.  A low periapsis and high apoapsis allow MIMIC to investigate the magnetic fields produced by the crustal sources as well as those produced by solar-wind interactions with Mars.  Taking magnetic data a varying altitudes will also aid in solving the inverse problem, allowing for a more accurate characterization of the sources of Mars' unusual magnetic field.  Furthermore, MIMIC will emphasize low-altitude, night-side magnetic measurement to reduce the contamination of remnant source data by the magnetic field induced by solar wind interactions.


Louisiana Participation:

During 2004-2005, Louisiana participation includes students who completed the ACES pilot project.  This group, based at LSU-BR, is in the process of becoming familiar with the MIMIC project, including program logistics, teleconference schedules and available documentation, as well as participating in the propulsion and structures sub-system teams.  Assuming MIMIC continues to launch, student who complete the LaACES Entry program may choose to participate in MIMIC as part of an advanced project.  Details for the 2005-2006 academic year will be available here during Summer 2005.