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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS)

The NGIMS instrument will measure the composition and isotopes of thermal neutrals and ions in the Martian atmosphere. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC)

The NGIMS instrument will measure the composition and isotopes of thermal neutrals and ions in the Martian atmosphere. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC)

The Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) measures the composition and isotopes of thermal neutrals and ions.

Goals:

  • Determine structure and variation of neutral atmosphere and ionosphere with altitude over the globe from the homopause to above the exobase where the neutral gas can escape
  • Provide a basis for the study of thermospheric energetics, transport, circulation and formation of the ionosphere
  • Reveal the effects of lower atmospheric effects on the composition of the upper atmosphere and escape

Observations:

  • Basic structure of the upper atmosphere (major species He, N, O, CO, N2, NO, O2, Ar, and CO2) and ionosphere from the homopause to above the exobase
  • Stable isotope ratios, and variations

The MAVEN NGIMS instrument undergoes final preparations for integration onto the spacecraft at Lockheed Martin. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC)

The MAVEN NGIMS instrument undergoes final preparations for integration onto the spacecraft at Lockheed Martin. (Courtesy NASA/GSFC)


Technical details and heritage:

  • Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer with open and closed sources
    • Open source: neutrals and ions
    • Closed source: non-reactive neutrals
  • Mass Range: 2 – 150 Da
  • Mass Resolution: 1 Da
  • Modes: scan entire spectra or adapt to fixed masses
  • Sensitivity: 10-2 (counts/s)/(particles/cm-3)
  • Heritage from Galileo GPMS, Pioneer Venus ONMS, CASSINI INMS, Contour NGIMS

Paul Mahaffy—NGIMS Instrument Lead

Paul Mahaffy—NGIMS Instrument Lead


Paul Mahaffy (GSFC) is the instrument lead for the NGIMS. For more about Mahaffy, visit: http://1.usa.gov/prmbio.

 

 

 

 

 

[VIDEO] MAVEN NGIMS: Searching for Mars’ Missing Atmosphere


MAVEN Science Community Workshop Presentation
(Dec. 2, 2012)

NGIMS presentation (5.4 MB PDF)

NGIMS presentation
(5.4 MB PDF)