The GLObal Solar Wind Structure (GLOWS) is a non-imaging single-pixel Lyman-α photometer that will be used to observe the sky distribution of the helioglow to better understand the evolution of the solar wind structure. The helioglow is formed by the interaction between interstellar neutral hydrogen (ISN H) and solar photons in a specific ultraviolet region called the Lyman-α waveband.
Photons enter the detector through a collimator with a baffle that restricts the photons to those only from GLOWS’ field of view (FOV). A spectral filter allows only photons found in the Lyman-α wavelength band into a channel electron multiplier (CEM) detector that counts them. GLOWS’ FOV shifts with IMAP’s daily spin axis redirection, allowing for sequential observations of the structure of the solar wind from separate locations around the Sun. The Lyman-α photon counts from these observations can be used to build a more comprehensive picture of the solar wind structure and how it changes through the solar cycles.
GLOWS design and assembly is led by the Space Research Center, Warsaw, Poland (CBK PAN).