Articles | Volume 26, issue 6
11 Jun 2008
 | 11 Jun 2008

Iterative inversion of global magnetospheric ion distributions using energetic neutral atom (ENA) images recorded by the NUADU/TC2 instrument

L. Lu, S. McKenna-Lawlor, S. Barabash, K. Kudela, J. Balaz, I. Strharsky, Z. X. Liu, C. Shen, J. B. Cao, P. C. Brandt, C. L. Tang, and I. Dandouras

Abstract. A method has been developed for extracting magnetospheric ion distributions from Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) measurements made by the NUADU instrument on the TC-2 spacecraft. Based on a constrained linear inversion, this iterative technique is suitable for use in the case of an ENA image measurement, featuring a sharply peaked spatial distribution. The method allows for magnetospheric ion distributions to be extracted from a low-count ENA image recorded over a short integration time (5 min). The technique is demonstrated through its application to a set of representative ENA images recorded in energy Channel~2 (hydrogen: 50–81 keV, oxygen: 138–185 keV) of the NUADU instrument during a geomagnetic storm. It is demonstrated that this inversion method provides a useful tool for extracting ion distribution information from ENA data that are characterized by high temporal and spatial resolution. The recovered ENA images obtained from inverted ion fluxes match most effectively the measurements made at maximum ENA intensity.