SM44A-04: The Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) on the SMILE Mission
Thursday, 15 December 2016 16:36 – 16:48
Moscone West – 2003
SMILE (Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer) is a space mission dedicated to study the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth’s magnetic field. SMILE will investigate the dynamic response of the Earth’s magnetosphere to the impact of the solar wind in a unique manner, never attempted before: it will combine soft X-ray imaging of the Earth’s magnetic boundaries and magnetospheric cusps with simultaneous UV imaging of the Northern aurora, while simultaneously providing context measurements via an in situ plasma and magnetometer instrument package. SMILE is a joint European Space Agency (ESA) and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) collaborative mission due for launch in 2021.
This talk will describe the Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) on SMILE. The SXI is designed for good detection sensitivity of the soft X-rays (0.2 – 2.0 keV) produced in the Earth’s exosphere by the solar wind charge exchange process. This process is the mechanism by which it is possible to globally image the Earth’s dayside magnetosheath, magnetopause boundary, bowshock and cusps. The wide field of view of the instrument (27° x 16°) is achieved by the use of a micropore optic (MPO) with a Lobster-eye focusing geometry. The detector consists of two large format CCDs (each 8.1 cm x 6.8 cm sensitive area) providing high quantum efficiency and medium energy resolution for soft X-rays. The instrument design will be presented along with simulation results indicating the instrument sensitivity and science return.