Contact us


OIP Space Instruments
Westerring 21
9700 Oudenaarde

T +32 55 33 38 11
F +32 55 33 38 02
E sales@oip.be

Find us on

Solutions

Back Imager of FUV Spectograph Imager of IMAGE

The IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause to Aurora Global Exploration) NASA mission is dedicated to the observation and understanding of the interaction between the magnetosphere and the charged particles (mainly originating from the sun’s activity).

OIP, as subcontractor to Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL) [B], was responsible for the design and development of the Back-Imager part of the Spectrograph Imager (SI) which is one of the far UV instruments on the spacecraft deckplate.

The FUV Imaging instrument was collecting the first-ever images from space of the Earth’s proton aurora (commonly known as the northern lights)

FUV Spectrographic Imager (FUV SI)

OIP designed and developped the Back-Imager part of the Spectrograph Imager (SI) which is one of the far UV instruments on the spacecraft deckplate. The Back-Imager consisted of mirrors and support structures to form a TMA telescope.

The FUV Imaging instrument was collecting the first-ever images from space of the Earth’s proton aurora (commonly known as the northern lights).

Keywords

Solution: Spectrometer Subassy

Type: Spectral Imager opto-mechanics

Application field: Science

Mission: IMAGE

Status: Still operational

 

IMAGE – Imager for Magnetopause to Aurora Global Exploration

IMAGE was the first spacecraft dedicated to imaging the Earth’s magnetosphere. IMAGE was a spacecraft developed by the Medium-Class Explorers (MIDEX) program, and it was the first spacecraft dedicated to observing the magnetosphere of the Earth, producing comprehensive global images of plasma in the inner magnetosphere.

Its science payload consists of three suites of instruments

  • Energetic neutral atom imagers (LENA, MENA, HENA) — These instruments use hydrogen, helium, and oxygen atoms in the exosphere to form images and determine the properties of their low-, medium- and high-energy parent ions.
  • Ultraviolet imagers (FUV and EUV) — The Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) imager detects light from helium atoms in Earth’s plasmasphere. The Far Ultraviolet (FUV) imager employs three detectors to image the auroras in different wavelengths and measure the distribution of different ions.
  • Radio Plasma Imager (RPI) — This instrument uses pulses of radio waves to image the entire volume of the Earth’s magnetic field. With its 502 meters-long antenna, it sends out a burst of radio waves, which reflect off of clouds of charged particles between the plasmasphere’s outer boundary all the way out to the boundary where the Earth’s magnetic field is impacted by the solar wind. RPI also measures naturally occurring plasma waves at the spacecraft’s location.

Mission

IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration) is a NASA Medium Explorers mission that studied the global response of the Earth‘s magnetosphere to changes in the solar wind. It was believed lost but as of August 2018 might be recoverable.

OIP’s Participation

OIP, as subcontractor to Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL) [B], was responsible for the design and development of the Back-Imager part of the Spectrograph Imager (SI) which is one of the far UV instruments on the spacecraft deckplate.

Status

IMAGE was launched March 25, 2000 by a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg AFB on a two-year mission. Almost six years later, it unexpectedly ceased operations in December 2005 during its extended mission and was declared lost.

In January 2018, an amateur satellite tracker found it to be transmitting some signals back to Earth. NASA made attempts to communicate with the spacecraft and determine its payload status, but has had to track down and adapt old hardware and software to the current systems. On February 25, contact with IMAGE was again lost only to be reestablished on March 4, 2018. The signal disappeared once again on August 5, 2018. Recovery efforts are underway and if successful NASA may decide to fund a restarted mission

Gallery

More details

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.