The China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES) was successfully launched on 2 February 2018. CSES will be the first Chinese platform to investigate natural electromagnetic phenomena and possible applications for earthquake monitoring from space in a polar Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

The scientific objectives of CSES focus on multiple physical parameters including electric and magnetic field, ionospheric plasma in-situ and profile disturbances and high-energy particle disturbances.

The instrument for measuring magnetic fields in a bandwidth between DC and approx. 60 Hz was developed in cooperation between the National Space Science Center (NSSC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, IWF, and the Institute of Experimental Physics (IEP) of the Graz University of Technology. NSSC is responsible for the dual sensor fluxgate magnetometer, the instrument processor and the power supply unit, while IWF and IEP participate with a scalar magnetometer (CDSM).

The CDSM instrument is a very important element for the scientific success of the CSES mission. In low Earth orbit the terrestrial background magnetic field is high and measurements with vector magnetometers are affected by offset and gain uncertainties. A sufficient calibration is only possible using the data from the scalar magnetometer.