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The Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) is designed to measure the composition, charge state and energy distribution of energetic ions and electrons; detect fast neutral particles; and conduct remote imaging of Saturn's magnetosphere. The information gathered is used to study the overall configuration and dynamics of the magnetosphere and its interactions with the solar wind, Saturn's atmosphere, rings, and icy moons, and Titan. It is the first instrument ever designed to produce an image of a planetary magnetosphere.

The instrument provides images of the ionized gases, called plasma, surrounding Saturn and determines the charge and composition of ions. Like the Cassini plasma spectrometer, this instrument has three sensors that perform various measurements: the low-energy magnetospheric measurement system, the charge-energy-mass spectrometer, and the ion and neutral camera.

The low-energy magnetospheric measurement system will measure low and high-energy proton, ion and electron angular distributions (the number of particles coming from each direction). The charge-energy-mass spectrometer uses an electrostatic analyzer, a time-of-flight mass spectrometer and microchannel plate detectors to measure the charge and composition of ions. The third sensor, the ion and neutral camera, makes two different type of measurements. It will obtain three-dimensional distributions and velocities and determine the rough composition of magnetospheric and interplanetary ions.

MIMI will study the hot plasma in Saturn's magnetosphere as well as storms and Saturn Kilometric Radiation (SKR).

For more information, read the engineering technical write-up or visit the science team's Web sites: and

Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) - CHEMS and LEMMS on the spacecraft
Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) - LEMMS Instrument
Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) - CHEMS and LEMMS Diagrams
MINI-CHEMS and LEMMS on the Cassini Spacecraft

MIMI-LEMMS Instrument


Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) - INCA on the Cassini Spacecraft
Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) - INCA Instrument
Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) - INCA Diagram
MIMI-INCA on the Cassini Spacecraft

MIMI-INCA Instrument


At a Glance

MIMI studies all the possible sources of energy in and around Saturn, which is crucial to scientists' understanding of the dynamics of Saturn's magnetic field and atmosphere.

  • Mass (current best estimate) = 16 kg
  • Average Operating Power (current best estimate) = 14.00 W
  • Average Data Rate (current best estimate) = 7.00 kilobits/s