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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

Developing Wide Field-of-View Suprathermal Neutral Atom Imaging Optics

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

The neutral atom imager is based on the already developed soft X-ray camera for DXL/STORM. The figure is conceptual only in this context and does not represent an optical design.

Energetic neutral atom (ENA) imaging has provided critical data on many planetary exospheres, atmospheres, and surfaces including the Moon, Mars, and Venus. However, current suprathermal neutral atom (SNA) imagers have limited fields-of-view, sometimes as small as 8-10 degrees in one direction, and a wide field-of-view low energy neutral imager does not yet exist. For this IRAD, we will develop the optics to focus SNAs and test the optics using an already-developed position sensing focal plane and a neutral beam source that has already been established for calibration of previous neutral atom imagers.

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