The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission is designed to explore the nature of the interactions between the solar wind and the interstellar medium at the edge of our solar system. IBEX carries two energetic neutral atom (ENA) imagers that observes ENAs created at the edge of the heliosphere flowing umimpeded towards the inner solar system. The IBEX mission has made the first all-sky maps of the boundary between our solar system and local interstellar medium, resulting in new discoveries of plasma interactions and insight into the local interstellar magnetic field. IBEX has also been utilized to study ENAs produced by interactions in the Earth’s magnetosphere, and has produced the first ENA images of the magnetospheric cusps and magnetotail plasma sheet. Along with being the PI institution of the IBEX mission, SwRI also developed and built the IBEX ENA imagers.

SwRI Faculty Involvement