22 May 2013 ELENA microchannel plate detector: absolute detection efficiency for low energy neutral atoms
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Microchannel plate (MCP) detectors are frequently used in space instrumentation for detecting a wide range of radiation and particles. The capability to detect non-thermal, low energy, neutral species is crucial for the Emitted Low-Energy Neutral Atoms (ELENA) sensor, which is part of the Search for Exospheric Refilling and Emitted Natural Abundances (SERENA) package on board the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) spacecraft of the BepiColombo mission of European Space Agency to Mercury, which is scheduled for launch in August 2015. ELENA is a time-of-flight sensor based on a novel concept using an ultrasonic oscillating shutter (start section) and MCP detector (stop detector). The ELENA scientific objective is to monitor the emission of neutral atoms from the surface of Mercury by detecting energetic neutral atoms in the range 10 eV to 5 keV, within 76 deg FOV, perpendicular to the S/C orbital plane. The surface is scanned due to the spacecraft motion. In particular, processes of particle release from the surface will be investigated by identifying particles released via solar wind-induced ion sputtering (with energies <1  eV to <100  eV ) as well as energetic hydrogen atoms, which are back-scattered solar wind protons, at energies of hundreds of eV. MCP absolute detection efficiency, for very low energy neutral atoms (E<30  eV ), is a crucial point for this investigation. At Messkammer für Flugzeitinstrumente und time-of-flight facility of the University of Bern, measurements on three MCP, with different coatings, have been performed providing the first data of MCP detection efficiencies in the energy range 10 eV to 1 keV.
© 2013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Rosanna Rispoli, Elisabetta De Angelis, Luca Colasanti, Nello Vertolli, Stefano Orsini, Juergen Scheer, Alessandro Mura, Anna Milillo, Peter Wurz, Stefano Selci, Andrea M/ Di Lellis, Roberto Leoni, Marco D'Alessandro, Francesco Mattioli, Sara Cibella, "ELENA microchannel plate detector: absolute detection efficiency for low energy neutral atoms," Optical Engineering 52(5), 051206 (22 May 2013). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.52.5.051206 . Submission:

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