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MIMI Engineering Technical Write-up

MIMI Engineering Technical Write-up

PI: Dr. Stamatios M. Krimigis

MIMI General Description:

The Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) is designed to: (1) measure the composition, charge state and energy distribution of energetic ions and electrons; (2) detect fast neutral species; and, (3) conduct remote imaging of the Saturn's magnetosphere. This information will be used to study the overall configuration and dynamics of the magnetosphere and its interactions with the solar wind, Saturn's atmosphere, Titan, rings, and icy satellites.

MIMI Scientific Objectives:

  • To determine the global configuration and dynamics of hot plasma in the magnetosphere of Saturn.
  • To monitor and model magnetospheric substorm-like activity and correlate this activity with Saturn Kilometric Radiation (SKR) observations.
  • To study magnetosphere/ionosphere coupling through remote sensing of aurora and measurements of energetic ions and electrons.
  • To investigate plasma energization and circulation processes in the magnetotail of Saturn.
  • To determine through imaging and composition studies the magnetosphere/satellite interactions at Saturn and understand the formation of clouds of neutral hydrogen, nitrogen, and water products.
  • To measure electron losses due to interactions with whistler waves.
  • To study the global structure and temporal variability of Titan's atmosphere.
  • Monitor the loss rate and composition of particles lost from Titan's atmosphere due to ionization and pickup.
  • To study Titan's interaction with the magnetosphere of Saturn and and the solar wind.
  • To determine the importance of Titan's exosphere as a source for the atomic hydrogen torus in Saturn's outer magnetosphere.
  • To investigate the absorption of energetic ions and electrons by Saturn's rings and icy satellites.
  • To analyze Dione's exosphere.

MIMI Instrument Characteristics:

  • Mass (current best estimate) = 16.00 kg
  • Average Operating Power (current best estimate) = 14.00 W
  • Average Data Rate (current best estimate) = 7.00 kilobits/s

The Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) will provide global images of Saturnian hot plasmas remotely and will perform comprehensive direct measurements of hot plasma, including charge state and elemental composition.

The MIMI instrument consists of one set of electronics, the MIMI electronics box, servicing three detector heads that perform the various measurements: the low-energy magnetospheric measurements system (LEMMS), the charge-energy-mass spectrometer (CHEMS), and the ion and neutral camera (INCA). For information on these components, click on their names.

(MIMI Links)

The MIMI electronics boxcontains the data processing unit (DPU) and the digital processing electronics for all three detector heads.

The low-energy magnetospheric measurements system (LEMMS) detector head will measure low- and high-energy proton, ion, and electron angular distributions. The LEMMS head is mounted on a scan platform capable of 180-degree rotations. The platform is mounted so that the rotation axis is oriented perpendicular to the spacecraft X axis and so that its extrapolation intersects the spacecraft Z axis.

The charge-energy-mass spectrometer (CHEMS) head will measure the charge state and composition of ions in the most energetically important portion of the Saturnian magnetospheric plasma.

The ion and neutral camera (INCA) will make two different types of measurements. It will obtain with very high sensitivity the three-dimensional distribution, velocities, and rough composition of magnetospheric and interplanetary ions for those regions in which the energetic ion fluxes are very low. The INCA instrument will also obtain remote images of the global distribution of the energetic neutral emission of hot plasmas in the Saturnian magnetosphere, measuring the composition and velocities of those energetic neutrals for each image pixel.