Inner heliosphere measurements of the Sun can be conducted with the proposed Solar Sentinel spacecraft and mission. One of the key measurements that can be made inside the orbit of the Earth is that of lower energy neutrons that arise in flares from nuclear reactions. Solar flare neutrons below 10 MeV suffer heavy weak-decay losses before reaching 1 AU. For heliocentric radii as close as 0.3 AU, the number of surviving neutrons from a solar event is dramatically greater. Neutrons from 1-10 MeV provide a new measure of heavy ion interactions at low energies, where the vast majority of energetic ions reside. Such measurements are difficult because of locally generated background neutrons. An instrument to make these measurements must be compact, lightweight and efficient. We describe our progress in developing a low-energy neutron telescope that can operate and measure neutrons in the inner heliosphere and take a brief look at other possible applications for this detector.
Space Science Center, Physics
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Ulisse Bravar ; Paul J. Bruillard ; Erwin O. Flueckiger ; Alec L. MacKinnon ; John R. Macri ; Procheta C. Mallik ; Mark L. McConnell ; Michael R. Moser and James M. Ryan "Imaging solar neutrons below 10 MeV in the inner heliosphere", Proc. SPIE 5901, Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation, 59010I (September 08, 2005); doi:10.1117/12.617392; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.617392
© (2005) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering.