Low-energy neutral-atom imaging techniques

Herbert O. Funsten, David J. McComas, Earl E. Scime

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


The potential scientific return from low energy neutral atom (LENA) imaging of the magnetosphere is extraordinary. The technical challenges of LENA detection include (1) removal of LENAs from the tremendous ambient UV without losing information of their incident trajectories, (2) quantification of their trajectories, and (3) obtaining high sensitivity measurements. Two techniques that have been proposed for this purpose are based on fundamentally different atomic interaction mechanisms between LENAs and a solid: LENA transmission through an ultrathin foil and LENA reflection from a solid surface. Both of these methods provide LENA ionization (for subsequent removal from the UV by electrostatic deflection) and secondary electron emission (for start pulse generation for time-of-flight and/or coincidence). We present a comparative study of the transmission and reflection techniques based on differences in atomic interactions with solids and surfaces. We show that transmission yield an order of magnitude greater secondary electron emission than reflection methods. Transmission methods are shown to be sufficient for LEAN energies of approximately 1 keV to greater than 30 keV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInstrumentation for Magnetospheric Imagery II
EditorsSupriya Chakrabarti
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780819412577
StatePublished - Jul 7 1993
Externally publishedYes
EventInstrumentation for Magnetospheric Imagery II - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jul 11 1993Jul 16 1993

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceInstrumentation for Magnetospheric Imagery II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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