© Satellite: DFH Satellite Co., Ltd., Earth: NASA

The China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellites (CSES) are scientific missions dedicated to the investigation and monitoring of variations of electromagnetic fields and waves as well as plasma parameters and particle fluxes in the near-Earth space which are induced by natural sources on ground like seismic and volcanic events

After the successful launch of the first satellite CSES-1 in February 2018, the second satellite CSES-2 is scheduled for launch in 2022. It will be in the same Sun-synchronous circular low Earth orbit as CSES-1, with a local time of the descending node at 2 pm, but with a phase difference of 180 degrees. The combined observations of both satellites will double the detection probability of natural hazard-related events and will help to separate seismic from non-seismic events.

In Austria, IWF is leading the field of earthquake related electromagnetic precursor research. With the instrument participation in the CSES-1 mission, IWF scientists have gained direct access to a new and unique set of electric and magnetic field data for natural hazard related precursor studies.

IWF will again participate with a scalar magnetometer (CDSM) in CSES-2, which is planned to be nearly identical to the one aboard CSES-1. Only the sensor design will be taken from the instrument  developed for the European mission to Jupiter (JUICE). The updated sensor provides improved performance and represents a logical next step in the development flow of this novel instrument.

The participation with the scalar magnetometer in the CSES-2 mission is mandatory for the accuracy of the magnetic field measurements and thus for the overall mission success. Furthermore, it will ensure that Austrian scientists and students are strongly involved in the technological achievements (reliability of a new technology and space qualification of a new sensor design) as well as scientific discoveries (e.g. earthquake related precursors in electromagnetic field data as well as ring and field aligned currents in the magnetosphere in close cooperation with the ESA Swarm mission) enabled by this unique mission constellation.