The design, calibration, and performance of a low-energy neutral atom spectrometer are described. Time-of-flight analysis is used to measure the energy spectrum of charge-exchange deuterium atoms emitted from the PLT tokamak plasma in the energy range from 20 to 1000 eV. The neutral outflux is gated on a 1-μs time scale by a slotted rotating chopper disc, supported against gravity in vacuum by magnetic levitation, and is detected by secondary electron emission from a Cu-Be plate. The energy dependent detection efficiency has been measured in particle beam experiments and on the tokamak so that the diagnostic is absolutely calibrated, allowing quantitative particle fluxes to be determined with 200-μs time resolution. In addition to its present application as a plasma diagnostic, the instrument is capable of making a wide variety of measurements relevant to atomic and surface physics.
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