NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission, scheduled to launch in October 2008, will make the first observations of charge exchange energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) produced near the edge of the heliosphere. IBEX will measure these ENAs with two ultra-high sensitivity, single-pixel ENA sensors in the energy range of ∼0.01-∼2 keV (IBEX-Lo) and ∼0.3-∼6 keV (IBEX-Hi), respectively. The primary purpose of IBEX is to measure hydrogen ENAs from the outer heliosphere, but it will also be sensitive to heavier species of ENAs produced anywhere throughout the solar system. For this study, we measured the coincidence response of the IBEX-Hi detector section to H, He, N, and O ions. Based on these results, we have developed an innovative technique in estimating the hydrogen to heavy ion ratio in the signal. This new technique can be applied more widely than the IBEX-Hi detector section, and the basic principle may be useful for other, future space and ground-based measurements.
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