IBEX backgrounds and signal-to-noise ratio

P. Wurz, S. A. Fuselier, E. Möbius, H. O. Funsten, P. C. Brandt, F. Allegrini, A. G. Ghielmetti, R. Harper, E. Hertzberg, P. Janzen, H. Kucharek, D. J. McComas, E. C. Roelof, L. Saul, J. Scheer, M. Wieser, Y. Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission will provide maps of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) originating from the boundary region of our heliosphere. On IBEX there are two sensors, IBEX-Lo and IBEX-Hi, covering the energy ranges from 10 to 2000 eV and from 300 to 6000 eV, respectively. The expected ENA signals at 1 AU are low, therefore both sensors feature large geometric factors. In addition, special attention has to be paid to the various sources of background that may interfere with our measurement. Because IBEX orbits the Earth, ion, electron, and ENA populations of the Earth's magnetosphere are prime background sources. Another potential background source is the magnetosheath and the solar wind plasma when the spacecraft is outside the magnetosphere. UV light from the night sky and the geocorona have to be considered as background sources as well. Finally background sources within each of the sensors must be examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-206
Number of pages34
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • ENA
  • Energetic Neutral Atom
  • Instrumentation
  • Interstellar boundary


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