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Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP)

Schwadron, N. A. and Opher, M. and Kasper, J. and Mewaldt, R. and Moebius, E. and Spence, H. E. and Zurbuchen, T. H. (2016) Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP). Journal of Physics Conference Series, 767 . Art. No. 012025. ISSN 1742-6588. doi:10.1088/1742-6596/767/1/012025.

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Our piece of cosmic real estate, the heliosphere, is the domain of all human existence – an astrophysical case history of the successful evolution of life in a habitable system. By exploring our global heliosphere and its myriad interactions, we develop key physical knowledge of the interstellar interactions that influence exoplanetary habitability as well as the distant history and destiny of our solar system and world. IBEX is the first mission to explore the global heliosphere and in concert with Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 is discovering a fundamentally new and uncharted physical domain of the outer heliosphere. In parallel, Cassini/INCA maps the global heliosphere at energies (~5-55 keV) above those measured by IBEX. The enigmatic IBEX ribbon and the INCA belt were unanticipated discoveries demonstrating that much of what we know or think we understand about the outer heliosphere needs to be revised. This paper summarizes the next quantum leap enabled by IMAP that will open new windows on the frontier of Heliophysics at a time when the space environment is rapidly evolving. IMAP with 100 times the combined resolution and sensitivity of IBEX and INCA will discover the substructure of the IBEX ribbon and will reveal, with unprecedented resolution, global maps of our heliosphere. The remarkable synergy between IMAP, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 will remain for at least the next decade as Voyager 1 pushes further into the interstellar domain and Voyager 2 moves through the heliosheath. Voyager 2 moves outward in the same region of sky covered by a portion of the IBEX ribbon. Voyager 2's plasma measurements will create singular opportunities for discovery in the context of IMAP's global measurements. IMAP, like ACE before, will be a keystone of the Heliophysics System Observatory by providing comprehensive measurements of interstellar neutral atoms and pickup ions, the solar wind distribution, composition, and magnetic field, as well as suprathermal ion, energetic particle, and cosmic ray distributions to diagnose the changing space environment and understand the fundamental origins of particle acceleration. This paper, the first citable reference for IMAP, is similar to an unpublished whitepaper that was presented to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee for Solar and Space Physics. We provide the IMAP objectives and instrument straw man traced from the Solar and Space Physics Decadal Survey. It is fitting that our paper is published in the volume of papers that celebrates the 80th birthday of Ed Stone.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Schwadron, N. A.0000-0002-3737-9283
Kasper, J.0000-0002-7077-930X
Mewaldt, R.0000-0003-2178-9111
Additional Information:© 2016 The Authors. Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Authors wish to thank and acknowledge the many dedicated individuals that have made possible the Voyager missions, the IBEX mission, the Cassini/INCA project, the ACE mission, the individuals that have contributed SSP Decadal Survey, and the CSSP. We would like thank Ed Stone for his work in space science over many decades, which has lead to the remarkable successes of the ACE mission, the Voyagers, and countless other projects. Lastly, we would like to thank Gary Zank and Adele Corona, the organizers of AIAC, and the editors of this volume. The meeting and the volume of papers that has resulted is a great benefit to the field of Heliophysics and Heliospheric Physics.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161122-083825410
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Official Citation:N. A. Schwadron et al 2016 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 767 012025
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72238
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Nov 2016 18:07
Last Modified:12 Jul 2022 17:08

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