Advances in Space Research 11 (1), 377−381, 1991
© COSPAR, Elsevier Science

The Solar Mass Ejection Imager

B.V. Jackson
Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, UCSD, La Jolla, CA

R. Gold
Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD

R. Altrock
Geophysics Laboratory (AFSC), National Solar Observatoryu/Sacramento Peak, NM


We have designed an imager capable of observing the Thomson scattering signal from transient, diffuse features in the heliosphere from a spacecraft situated near 1 AU. The imager is expected to trace these features, which include coronal mass ejections, co-rotating structures and shock waves, to elongations greater than 90° from the Sun. The instrumentation ultimately may be regarded as a successor to the heliospheric imaging capability shown possible by the zodiacal-light photometers of the HELIOS spacecraft. The second-generation instrument we have designed, would make far more effective use of Image solar wind data from spacecraft in the vicinity of the imager by extending these observations to the structures surrounding it. In addition, an imager at Earth could allow up to three days warning of the arrival of a mass ejection from the Sun.