University of Oulu

Murphy KR, Rae IJ, Halford AJ, Engebretson M, Russell CT, Matzka J, Johnsen MG, Milling DK, Mann IR, Kale A, Xu Z, Connors M, Angelopoulos V, Chi P and Tanskanen E (2022) GMAG: An open-source python package for ground-based magnetometers. Front. Astron. Space Sci. 9:1005061. doi: 10.3389/fspas.2022.1005061

GMAG : an open-source python package for ground-based magnetometers

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Author: Murphy, Kyle R.1,2; Rae, I. Jonathan2; Halford, Alexa J.3;
Organizations: 1Independent Researcher, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
2Department of Maths, Physics and Electrical Engineering, Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
3NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
4Department of Physics, Augsburg University, Minneapolis, MN, United States
5Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, United States
6GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
7Tromsø Geophysical Observatory, UiT the Arctic University of Norway
8Departement of Physics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
9Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, United States
10Department of Physics and Astronomy, Athabasca University, Athabasca, AB, United States
11Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, United States
12Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-06-21


Magnetometers are a key component of heliophysics research providing valuable insight into the dynamics of electromagnetic field regimes and their coupling throughout the solar system. On satellites, magnetometers provide detailed observations of the extension of the solar magnetic field into interplanetary space and of planetary environments. At Earth, magnetometers are deployed on the ground in extensive arrays spanning the polar cap, auroral and sub-auroral zone, mid- and low-latitudes and equatorial electrojet with nearly global coverage in azimuth (longitude or magnetic local time—MLT). These multipoint observations are used to diagnose both ionospheric and magnetospheric processes as well as the coupling between the solar wind and these two regimes at a fraction of the cost of in-situ instruments. Despite their utility in research, ground-based magnetometer data can be difficult to use due to a variety of file formats, multiple points of access for the data, and limited software. In this short article we review the Open-Source Python library GMAG which provides rapid access to ground-based magnetometer data from a number of arrays in a Pandas DataFrame, a common data format used throughout scientific research.

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Series: Frontiers in astronomy and space sciences
ISSN: 2296-987X
ISSN-E: 2296-987X
ISSN-L: 2296-987X
Volume: 9
Article number: 1005061
DOI: 10.3389/fspas.2022.1005061
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: KRM is partially supported by NERC grant NE/V002554/2. IJR is partially funded by NERC grants NE/P017185/2, NE/V002554/2, and STFC grant ST/V006320/1. AJH is partially funded by the SPI ISFM.
Copyright information: © 2022 Murphy, Rae, Halford, Engebretson, Russell, Matzka, Johnsen, Milling, Mann, Kale, Xu, Connors, Angelopoulos, Chi and Tanskanen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.