Imager of low-energy neutral atoms: imaging neutrals from the magnetosphere at energies below 20 keV

Physics

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Scientific paper

We describe a new imager suitable for measurements of magnetospheric neutrals with energies from about 100 eV to about 10 keV; an energy range adequate for imaging the plasmasheet neutral atoms out to about 10 R(subscript E). The instrument, an outgrowth of a study of atom- surface collisions in support of satellite drag calculations, separates incident photons from neutral atoms by surface scattering and conversion of the neutrals to ions. Subsequently, the ions formed on the first surface are accelerated through a light rejection section which also disperses the ions according to energy. The dispersed ion beam is then allowed to impact a second surface where a start pulse is generated to obtain ion velocity and energy/charge. The second surface is chosen to give large secondary electron emission without regard to charge state of the particles reflected from it. The reflected particles are detected a second and final time in a position sensitive detector as drift in a field free region. This last detection generates the stop pulse for time-of-flight (velocity) determination. The data supporting the proposed ILENA design is presented in the first part of the paper.

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