Solar Physics 265 (1/2), 257−275, 2010
Topical issue: "Remote sensing of the innner heliosphere"
© Springer Verlag

A heliospheric imager for deep space: lessons learned from Helios, SMEI, and STEREO

B.V. Jackson, A. Buffington, P.P. Hick, M.M. Bisi and J. Clover
Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, Univ. of California, San Diego, CA


The zodiacal light photometers on the twin Helios spacecraft the Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI) on the Coriolis spacecraft, and the Heliospheric Imagers (HIs) on the Solar-TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) twin spacecraft all point the way to optimizing future remote-sensing Thomson-scattering observations from deep space. Such data could be provided by wide-angle viewing instruments on Solar Orbiter, Solar Probe, or other deep-space probes. Here, we present instrument specifications required for a successful heliospheric imager, and the measurements and data-processing steps that make the best use of this remote-sensing system. Properly designed and calibrated, data from this type of instrument are capable of determining zodiacal-dust properties, and of three-dimensional reconstructions of heliospheric electron density over large volumes of the inner heliosphere. Such systems can measure fundamental properties of the inner heliospheric plasma, provide context for the insitu monitors on board spacecraft, and enable physics-based analyses of this important segment of the Sun-Spacecraft connection.