ISS space station has Belgian magnetometer OSCAR-QUBE on board


Students from Hasselt University were elated and proud when they heard that French ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet had successfully installed their diamond-based quantum magnetometer OSCAR-QUBE on the ISS space station. And even more so when the first data arrived without any technical problems a few hours later.


It was the crowning glory of a fascinating and strenuous scientific adventure to map the magnetic field around the Earth at great speed and with extreme precision. This field is made up of multiple signals coming from a variety of internal and external sources, such as the liquid core of the Earth, underground mineral deposits and solar storms. The Hasselt University team, selected by ESA as the best of the ten participating European teams to come up with their own experiments, hopes that its OSCAR-QUBE will change the way magnetometry is applied in space.


Various companies have contributed to the success of OSCAR-QUBE through sponsorship. This large-scale project will help advance scientific technology, lay the foundations of a career in that sector for the students involved, and may encourage others to think big in turn.