First Swarm results make front page news

Friday 03 Apr 15
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Nils Olsen
Professor -head of Geomagnetism
DTU Space
+4545 25 97 08

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Chris Finlay
Professor
DTU Space
+4545 25 97 13
The three Swarm satellites have made the front page of the renowned international journal "Geophysical Research Letters", thanks to the first mathematical model of the Earth's magnetic field, based on the high-resolution magnetic measurements made by the satellites. Nils Olsen from DTU Space heads the international team that has calculated the Swarm Initial Field Model.

The colourful figure on the front page of "Geophysical Research Letters" shows the contributions to the Earth's magnetic field from the Earth's core (at a depth of 3000 km) as well as weaker contributions from magnetized rock formations in the planet's crust (around 10 to 40 km below the Earth's surface). The separation of these two components, which form the planet's own magnetic field, is the main goal of the new model.

"By combining data from the three Swarm satellites we have managed to separate various sources of noise in a much more effective way than would ever be possible with data from a single satellite," explains Nils Olsen. "That's why we have been able to make a very precise model of the Earth's magnetic field with just a few months of data, where previously we had to use years of data. This makes it possible to make more precise studies of rapid changes in the geomagnetic field."

"By combining data from the three Swarm satellites we have managed to separate various sources of noise in a much more effective way than would ever be possible with data from a single satellite,"
Nils Olsen, DTU Space

Researchers at DTU Space are already working on a new, even better model, using a newly developed method of calibrating the satellite data. The new model is expected to be ready for use in a few months.

Download the research article Geophysical Research Letters