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Rev Sci Instrum. 2015 May;86(5):054501. doi: 10.1063/1.4921706.

An integrated time-of-flight versus residual energy subsystem for a compact dual ion composition experiment for space plasmas.

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Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, Texas 78238-5166, USA.


We have developed a novel concept for a Compact Dual Ion Composition Experiment (CoDICE) that simultaneously provides high quality plasma and energetic ion composition measurements over 6 decades in ion energy in a wide variety of space plasma environments. CoDICE measures the two critical ion populations in space plasmas: (1) mass and ionic charge state composition and 3D velocity and angular distributions of ∼10 eV/q-40 keV/q plasma ions—CoDICE-Lo and (2) mass composition, energy spectra, and angular distributions of ∼30 keV-10 MeV energetic ions—CoDICE-Hi. CoDICE uses a common, integrated Time-of-Flight (TOF) versus residual energy (E) subsystem for measuring the two distinct ion populations. This paper describes the CoDICE design concept, and presents results of the laboratory tests of the TOF portion of the TOF vs. E subsystem, focusing specifically on (1) investigation of spill-over and contamination rates on the start and stop microchannel plate (MCP) anodes vs. secondary electron steering and focusing voltages, scanned around their corresponding model-optimized values, (2) TOF measurements and resolution and angular resolution, and (3) cross-contamination of the start and stop MCPs' singles rates from CoDICE-Lo and -Hi, and (4) energy resolution of avalanche photodiodes near the lower end of the CoDICE-Lo energy range. We also discuss physical effects that could impact the performance of the TOF vs. E subsystem in a flight instrument. Finally, we discuss advantages of the CoDICE design concept by comparing with capabilities and resources of existing flight instruments.


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