IDEX (Interstellar Dust Explorer)


Cutaway diagram of the IDEX sensor head, showing the principle of operation.

The Interstellar Dust Experiment (IDEX) is a high-resolution dust analyzer that provides the elemental composition, speed and mass distributions of Interstellar Dust (ISD) particles. IDEX links the interstellar gas phase composition, as obtained with IMAP-Lo and through PUIs with CoDICE and SWAPI, with the makeup of ISD particles.

IDEX has a sensor head with a large effective target area to collect a statistically significant number of ISD impacts (> 100/year), based on derived fluxes from the Ulysses mission. A mass spectrum is obtained for each particle measured from the TOF analysis of the impact generated atomic and molecular ions. IDEX’s wide mass range of 1–500 amu is designed to identify the elemental makeup of impacting parti- cles with selected mineralogical information. Organic molecules can be identified as well, if present.

All schematics and numbers are preliminary as of the beginning of Phase A. Additional information about each instrument can be found in the Open Access IMAP Paper.

IDEX Instrument Table

IDEX Instrument Performance.