Aerospace Engineering Seminar Series: Dr. Nikolaos Paschalidis

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
2164 Martin Hall, DeWalt Seminar Room/Hybrid
Brent Barbee

SPEAKER: Dr. Nikolaos Paschalidis    

Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) Imaging of Space Plasmas and Environment: Science, Technology and Instrumentation    

Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) imaging is a powerful technique for remote sensing of the vast space plasma environment of the Heliosphere, Planetary Magnetospheres, and even the ions of the solar corona which have been accelerated by shocks at the front of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME). ENAs are created by charge exchange collisions primarily between energetic ions and the background neutral gas. Contrary to charged particles whose motion is constrained by magnetic and electric fields, ENAs can travel large distances without being affected by these fields. In other words, plasma populations “glow” in neutral atoms thereby opening the door to remote sensing of ion populations. Thus, by recording ENA fluxes as a function of velocity and observation angle, one can reconstruct the global image of the species-dependent remote environment and of the source plasma particle distributions. The technologies involved in ENA instruments are electrostatic optics, time-of-flight/energy/position sensing, and fast coincidence logic. This presentation will overview the science, technologies, and instrumentation of ENA remote sensing. More specifically the presentation will expand on ENA instrumentation for the recently selected NASA Storm Time O+ Ring Current Imaging Evolution (STORIE) mission to study the dynamics of Earth’s ring current, and on ENA instrumentations to study atmospheric escape, lunar surface magnetic anomalies and CME driven shock acceleration at the Sun.

Dr. Nick Paschalidis is an experimental space scientist and ECE with overarching experience in Space Science, Technology, and Instrumentation. He is Senior Project Scientist for Technology Advancement and the lead Division Technologist for NASA/GSFC’s Heliophysics Science Division. He pioneered in TOF x Energy x Position Sensing technologies for charged and neutral particle instruments on many NASA/ESA/JAXA missions across the solar system (MMS, Parker Solar Probe S+, Solar Orbiter, BepiColombo, Van Allen Probes, Juno, Pluto New Horizons, Stereo, Interstellar Boundary Explorer, Messenger, IMAGE, CASSINI, and under development HERMES-Gateway, Geospace Dynamics Constellation, JUICE, IMAP, CubeSats). With these technologies he has developed space instruments and contributed to other scientist’s investigations. He is currently Principal Investigator of the Ring Current ENA (RENA) instrument for the NASA STORIE mission scheduled for launch in 2026; and he leads a series of mini Ion and Neutral Mass Specs for small satellites. Recently he is the recipient of the NASA/GSFC IRAD Innovator of the Year 2015, and the NASA Medal for Exceptional Technology Achievement 2016.


Audience: All Students  Graduate  Undergraduate  Faculty  Staff 

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