University of Colorado at Boulder University of Colorado CU Home Search A to Z Index Map
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics


The science objectives of the Toroidal Imaging Mass-Angle Spectrograph (TIMAS) are to investigate :

  • The transfer of solar wind energy and momentum to the magnetosphere,
  • The interaction between the magnetosphere and the ionosphere,
  • The transport processes that distribute plasma and energy throughout the magnetosphere, and
  • The interactions that occur as plasmas of different origins and histories mix and interact.

In order to meet these objectives the TIMAS instrument measures virtually the full three-dimensional velocity distribution functions of all major magnetospheric ion species with one-half spin period time resolution.

The TIMAS is a first order double focusing (angle and energy), imaging spectrograph that simultaneously measures all mass per charge components from 1 AMU/e to greater than 32 AMU/e over a nearly 360 by 10 degree instantaneous field-of-view. Mass per charge is dispersed radially on an annular microchannel plate detector and the azimuthal position on the detector is a map of the instantaneous 360 degree field of view. With the rotation of the spacecraft, the TIMAS sweeps out very nearly a 4 pi solid angle image in a half spin period. The energy per charge range from 15eV/e to 32 keV/e is covered in 28 non-contiguous steps spaced approximately logarithmically with adjacent steps separated by about 30%. Each energy step is sampled for approximately 20 ms; 14 step (odd or even) energy sweeps are completed 16 times per spin. In order to handle the large volume of data within the telemetry limitations the distributions are compressed to varying degrees in angle and energy, log-count compressed and then further compressed by a lossless technique. This data processing task is supported by two SA3300 microprocessors. The voltages (up to 5 kV) for the tandem toroidal electrostatic analyzers and preacceleration sections are supplied from fixed high voltage supplies using optically controlled series-shunt regulators.

Key TIMAS Instrument Characteristics

Energy Range (keV/e)           0.015-32
Energy Resolution (deltaE/E)
       Internal                0.08
       External                0.08 - 0.7
Mass Range (AMU/e)             1 - > 32
       (64 channels)
Mass Resolution (M/deltaM)   # 2 - 5
Field of View (Instantaneous)
       Azimuth (deg.)          2 x 157
       Elevation (deg.)        10
Solid Angle coverage (sr)      4pi x 0.98
Angular Resolution (deg.)      11.25 x 11.25
Time Resolution (sec.)
       2-D                     0.375
       3-D                     3.0
Geometric Factor
       (cm2 - sr)           #@ 1.5 - 11 x 10^-2
      (cm2 - sr - ev/eV)    #@ 0.1 - 7 x 10^-2
Mass (kg)                      15.7
Power (watts)<                 14
Telemetry (bps)                4100

#These parameters are energy dependent because of the pre-acceleration
of the ions. The first quantity corresponds to high energy and
the second corresponds to low energy.

@Includes transmission and efficiency factors.

TIMAS Key Dimensional Parameters

                         EA1/S1    EA2/S2   S3

Major Radius (mm) 165 162.5 ___ Minor Radius (mm) 41 57 ___ Plate Separation (mm) 6.45 8.9 ___ Sector Angle (deg.) 125.24< 82.27 ___ Slit Radius (mm) 132.6 147.4< 63.7 Slit Width (mm) 1.0 3.9 6.8 Slit Length/Sector (deg.) ____ 7.8 7.8

Last modified February 1996 by Bill Peterson