Medium energy neutral atom (MENA) imager for the image mission

C. J. Pollock, K. Asamura, J. Baldonado, M. M. Balkey, P. Barker, J. L. Burch, E. J. Korpela, J. Cravens, G. Dirks, M. C. Fok, H. O. Funsten, M. Grande, M. Gruntman, J. Hanley, J. M. Jahn, M. Jenkins, M. Lampton, M. Marckwordt, D. J. Mccomas, T. MukaiG. Penegor, S. Pope, S. Ritzau, M. L. Schattenburg, E. Scime, R. Skoug, W. Spurgeon, T. Stecklein, S. Storms, C. Urdiales, P. Valek, J. T.M. Van Beek, S. E. Weidner, M. Wüest, M. K. Young, C. Zinsmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


The Medium Energy Neutral Atom (MENA) imager was developed in response to the Imaging from the Magnetopause to the Aurora for Global Exploration (IMAGE) requirement to produce images of energetic neutral atoms (ENAS) in the energy range from I to 30 keV. These images will be used to infer characteristics of magnetospheric ion distributions. The MENA imager is a slit camera that images incident ENAs in the polar angle (based on a conventional spherical coordinate system defined by the spacecraft spin axis) and utilizes the spacecraft Spin to image in azimuth. The speed of incident ENAs is determined by measuring the time-of-flight (TOF) from the entrance aperture to the detector. A carbon foil in the entrance aperture yields secondary electrons, which are imaged using a position-sensitive Start detector segment. This provides both the one-dimensional (1D) position at which the ENA passed through the aperture and a Start time for the TOF system. Impact of the incident ENA on the 1D position-sensitive Stop detector segment provides both a Stop-timing signal and the location that the ENA impacts the detector. The ENA incident polar angle is derived from the measured Stop and Start positions. Species identification (H vs. O) is based on variation in secondary electron yield with mass for a fixed ENA speed. The MENA imager is designed to produce images with 8°x 4°angular resolution over a field of view 140°x 360°, over an energy range from 1 keV to 30 keV. Thus, the MENA imager is well suited to conduct measurements relevant to the Earth's ring current, plasma sheet, and (at times) magnetosheath and cusp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-154
Number of pages42
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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