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Optical Engineering

Low-energy neutral atom emission from the Earth's magnetosphere
Author(s): Kurt R. Moore; Earl E. Scime; Herbert O. Funsten; David J. McComas; Michelle F. Thomsen
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Paper Abstract

Imaging of the terrestrial magnetosphere is possible through the detection of low-energy neutral atoms (LENA5) produced by charge exchange between magnetospheric plasma ions and neutral atoms of the Earth's geocorona. We present calculations of both hydrogen and oxygen line-of-sight LENA fluxes expected on orbit for various plasma regimes as predicted by the Rice University Magnetospheric Specification Model. To decrease the required computation time, we are in the process of adapting our code for massively parallel computers. The speed gains achieved from parallel algorithms are substantial, and we present results from computational runs on the Connection Machine CM-2 data parallel supercomputer. We also estimate expected image count rates and image quality based on realistic instrument geometric factors, energy passbands, neutral atom scattering in the instrument, and image accumulation intervals. The results indicate that LENA imaging instruments will need a geometric factor (G) on the order of 0.1 cm2 sr eV/eV to be capable of imaging storm time ring currents, and a G of 1.0 cm2 sr eV/eV in order to image the quiet time ring current fluxes, ion injections from the tail, and subsequent ion drifts toward the dayside magnetopause.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 February 1994
PDF: 7 pages
Opt. Eng. 33(2) doi: 10.1117/12.155924
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 33, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Kurt R. Moore, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Earl E. Scime, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Herbert O. Funsten, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
David J. McComas, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Michelle F. Thomsen, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)

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