Advances in low energy neutral atom imaging

D. J. McComas, H. O. Funsten, E. E. Scime

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


In the near-Earth space environment, charge exchange continually occurs between the magnetospheric ions and very cold (~ eV) neutral atoms in the geocorona. This process creates both energetic (> tens of keV) and low energy (< tens of keV) neutral atoms (ENAs and LENAs, respectively) that radiate from the magnetosphere. Over the past several years, imaging techniques have been developed for observing these neutrals in space. Such techniques promise to open a new window onto the magnetosphere, providing synoptic measurements and a global view of the magnetospheric plasma and energetic particle environments for the first time. In this paper we describe recent advances in two of the leading techniques developed for LENA imaging: thin foil transmission-based imagers and UV-blocking grating-based imagers. In particular, we will discuss the development and testing of a flight- quality prototype foil-based imager and present an advanced design for a grating-based imager that has just been selected for NASA’s IMAGE spacecraft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMeasurement Techniques in Space Plasmas
Subtitle of host publicationFields, 1998
EditorsRobert F. Pfaff, Josep E. Borovsky, David T. Young
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781118664391
ISBN (Print)9780875900865
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
ISSN (Print)0065-8448
ISSN (Electronic)2328-8779

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics


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