NASA: IMAP to Study Solar Wind Boundary of Outer Solar System

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 19372
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

NASA: IMAP to Study Solar Wind Boundary of Outer Solar System

Post by bystander » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:32 pm

NASA Selects Mission to Study Solar Wind Boundary of Outer Solar System
NASA | IMAP | 2018 Jun 01

NASA has selected a science mission planned for launch in 2024 that will sample, analyze, and map particles streaming to Earth from the edges of interstellar space.

The Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission will help researchers better understand the boundary of the heliosphere, a sort of magnetic bubble surrounding and protecting our solar system. This region is where the constant flow of particles from our Sun, called the solar wind, collides with material from the rest of the galaxy. This collision limits the amount of harmful cosmic radiation entering the heliosphere. IMAP will collect and analyze particles that make it through. ...

Another objective of the mission is to learn more about the generation of cosmic rays in the heliosphere. Cosmic rays created locally and from the galaxy and beyond affect human explorers in space and can harm technological systems, and likely play a role in the presence of life itself in the universe. ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 19372
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

SwRI to manage payload, payload systems engineering for IMAP mission

Post by bystander » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:58 pm

SwRI to manage payload, payload systems engineering for IMAP mission
Southwest Research Institute | 2018 Jun 11

Southwest Research Institute will manage the payload and payload systems engineering for a new NASA mission that will sample, analyze and map particles streaming to Earth from the edge of interstellar space. SwRI also will provide a scientific instrument and other technology for the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) spacecraft, scheduled to launch in 2024.

IMAP will help researchers better understand the boundary of the heliosphere, a sort of magnetic bubble surrounding and protecting our solar system. This is where the constant flow of particles from the Sun, called the solar wind, collides with material from the rest of the galaxy. This bubble limits the amount of harmful cosmic radiation entering the heliosphere. IMAP instruments will collect and analyze particles that make it through. ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 19372
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

SwRI: IMAP Enters Design Phase

Post by bystander » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:46 pm

Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration
Probe Mission Enters Design Phase

Southwest Research Institute | 2020 Jan 28

A mission to study the interaction of the solar wind with the ancient cast-off winds of other stars, and the fundamental process of particle acceleration in space, has completed a critical NASA review and is now moving closer toward a scheduled launch in 2024. Southwest Research Institute is playing a major role in the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) spacecraft, managing the payload office and providing a scientific instrument and other technology for the mission.

The IMAP mission completed its Key Decision Point-B review on Jan. 28, 2020, which now allows the IMAP team to move forward with preliminary design work on the mission, spacecraft, and instruments, referred to as Phase B. Phase B will officially begin on Jan. 28. ...

A focus for IMAP is to explore the very boundaries of the heliosphere – the space filled with plasma from the Sun that envelops all the planets of the solar system – to interstellar space. Here the outpouring of solar material collides with the local interstellar medium that fills the space surrounding the heliosphere. This interaction forms a critical barrier for high-energy cosmic rays, at a distance of about 10 billion miles from the Sun. ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 16785
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: NASA: IMAP to Study Solar Wind Boundary of Outer Solar System

Post by neufer » Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:04 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstellar_Mapping_and_Acceleration_Probe wrote:
<<The Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) is a heliophysics mission that will simultaneously investigate two important and coupled science topics in the heliosphere: the acceleration of energetic particles and interaction of the solar wind with the local interstellar medium. IMAP is a simple spin-stabilized (~4 RPM) spacecraft with ten instruments. Daily attitude maneuvers will be used to keep the spin axis and top deck (with solar arrays) pointed in the direction of the incoming solar wind, which is a few degrees away from the Sun. In the L1 halo orbit, the rear deck, with its communication antenna, approximately points at the Earth.

The ten instruments on IMAP can be grouped into three categories:
1) Energetic neutral atom detectors (IMAP-Lo, IMAP-Hi, & IMAP-Ultra);
2) Charged particle detectors (SWAPI, SWE, CoDICE, & HIT); and
3) Other coordinated measurements (MAG, IDEX, GLOWS).

Shown here (top panel) are oxygen fluences measured at 1 AU by several instruments onboard ACE during a 3-year period, with representative particle spectra obtained for gradual and impulsive Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs), corotating interaction regions (CIRs), Anomalous Cosmic Rays (ACRs), and Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs), and (top panel inset) ion fluxes in the Voyager 1 direction using in situ observations from Voyager and remote ENA observations from Cassini and IBEX. (Middle panel) SWAPI, CoDICE, and HIT provide comprehensive composition, energy, and angular distributions for all major solar wind species (core and halo), interstellar and inner source pick-up ions, suprathermal, energetic, and accelerated ions from SEPs, interplanetary shocks, as well as ACRs. SWE, CoDICE and HIT also provide energy and angular distributions of the solar wind ion and electron core, halo, strahl, as well as energetic and relativistic electrons up to 1 MeV.>>
Art Neuendorffer