Proc. SPIE 4853, 23−30, 2003
Innovative Telescopes and Instrumentation for Solar Astrophysics S.L. Keil and S.V. Avakyan (eds.)
© SPIE − The International Society for Optical Engineering

Time-dependent tomography of heliospheric features using the three dimensional reconstruction techniques developed for the Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI)

B.V. Jackson, P. Hick and A. Buffington
Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California San Diego


Precise photometric images of the heliosphere are expected from the Air Force/NASA Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI) now scheduled for launch in February 2003, and the all-sky cameras proposed for other NASA missions. To optimize the information available from these instruments, we are developing tomographic techniques for analyzing remote sensing observations of heliospheric density as observed in Thomson scattering (e.g. using the Helios photometer data) for eventual use with SMEI. We have refined the tomography program to enable us to analyze time-dependent phenomena, such as the evolution of corotating heliospheric structures and more discrete events such as coronal mass ejections. Both types of phenomena are discerned in our data, and are reconstructed in three dimensions. We use our tomography technique to study the interaction of these phenomena as they move outward from the Sun for several events that have been studied by multiple spacecraft in situ observations and other techniques.