Interstellar Boundary Explorer
To detect energetic neutral atoms to create maps from the solar system’s outer edge, enabling scientists to map the boundary between Solar System and interstellar space.
Assemblage of two units: 1) IBEX-Lo for the energy range 0.01-2 keV; and 2) IBEX-Hi for the energy range 0.3-6 keV. The Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENA) enter the sensors through collimators that suppress the external electrons below ~600 eV and the external ions below 10 keV.
Instrument optical axis perpendicular to the satellite spin axis, that points at the Sun. Volumetric scanning provided by the satellite spin motion and the satellite motion cross the Magnetosphere along its low-inclination highly elliptical orbit
7° x 7° resolution when viewing the heliosphere, 3.5º x 3.5º to precisely measure the cold interstellar neutral oxygen drifting into the heliosphere
Coverage / Cycle
Full interplanetary space in six months
Flown on an R&D satellite
2009-01-01 to ≥2022
Satellites this instrument is flying on
Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a
green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates
Solar and space environment monitors Energetic particle spectrometer
Subcomponent 3 Energetic Neutral Atom spectrometer [from LEO and HEO]
Tentative Evaluation of Measurements
The following list indicates which measurements can
retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable,
click on the respective variable.
Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
Variable Relevance for measuring this variable Operational limitations Explanation
Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) 3 - high No specific limitation. Interplanetary space, low energy (over 10 up to 10000 eV)