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.