Test Facility to Study Surface-Interaction Processes for Particle Detection in Space

Wahlström, P.; Scheer, Jürgen; Riedo, Andreas; Wurz, Peter; Wieser, M. (2013). Test Facility to Study Surface-Interaction Processes for Particle Detection in Space. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 50(2), pp. 402-410. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 10.2514/1.A32134

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The Imager for Low Energetic Neutral Atoms test facility at the University of Bern was developed to investigate, characterize, and quantify physical processes on surfaces that are used to ionize neutral atoms before their analysis in neutral particle-sensing instruments designed for space research. The facility has contributed valuable knowledge of the interaction of ions with surfaces (e.g., fraction of ions scattered from surfaces and angular scattering distribution) and employs a novel measurement principle for the determination of secondary electron emission yields as a function of energy, angle of incidence, particle species, and sample surface for low particle energies. Only because of this test facility it was possible to successfully apply surface-science processes for the new detection technique for low-energetic neutral particles with energies below about 1 keV used in space applications. All successfully flown spectrometers for the detection of low-energetic neutrals based on the particle–surface interaction process use surfaces evaluated, tested, and calibrated in this facility. Many instruments placed on different spacecraft (e.g., Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration, Chandrayaan-1, Interstellar Boundary Explorer, etc.) have successfully used this technique.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Scheer, Jürgen; Riedo, Andreas and Wurz, Peter


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering
500 Science > 530 Physics




American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics




Cléa Serpollier

Date Deposited:

08 Aug 2014 17:23

Last Modified:

08 Aug 2014 17:24

Publisher DOI:




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