The Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) was the first satellite with the primary mission of imaging the Earth’s inner magnetosphere. IMAGE used an array of remote sensing instruments to “see the invisible”. IMAGE was launched in 2000 and operated until 2005. IMAGE carried three Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) imagers to observe a large range of energies of ENAs along with UV imagers and a radar instrument. IMAGE provided valuable global images of the Earth’s magnetosphere that led to important insights into the interactions between the solar wind, ions in the magnetosphere, and neutral atoms from the Earth’s atmosphere.


SwRI designed and built the Medium Energy Neutral Atom (MENA) imager. MENA is a slit imager capable of measuring proton and oxygen ENAs from 1-30 keV. MENA consists of three identical detectors that can determine the trajectory and velocity of the ENAs produced in the magnetosphere.

SwRI Faculty Involvement

Alumni Involvement