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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

Ion Mass Spectrometer for Heliospheric Missions

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

AIMS Prototype Heliospherical and Planetary Missions

We are developing and IMS that can be used to measure the solar wind ion composition and measure interstellar pick up ions. This instrument will support a future heliospheric missions that measures fast neutrals from the outer boundaries of the solar wind. This instrument will have unique ion composition capabilities and will be designed to work in the transient energetic particle events such as Corotating Interaction Regions (CIRS), Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) events.  In addition, the IMS can be used for planetary missions including missions with high radiation environment such as Io and Europa.

We are developing this instrument based on an ongoing development effort, completing 9.5-27 MeV irradiation tests of microchannel plate (MCP) shielding designs, and ion beam testing the instrument's tapered linear electric field time-of-flight section using the Suprathermal Ion Mass Spectrometry Lab at Goddard for ion energies from 100 V to 15 kV. We have also shown that the Circular Wien Filter with tophat Electrostatic Analyzer works successfully from 50 V to 10 kV.for a wide range of ion mass per charge (M/Q).  

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