Atmosphere Space Interaction Monitor
ASIM is an experiment for the International Space
Station (ISS) external facilities on the Columbus module. ASIM is aimed at the study of
high-altitude optical emissions from the stratosphere and mesosphere, the
Transient Luminous Events (TLEs: Red Sprites, Blue Jets, Elves) and the
Terrestrial Gamma Flashes (TGFs) (Neubert et al., 2006)
ASIM has been through a Phase-A (Development and Design, 2004-2005) and
a Phase-B (Breadboard and Feasibility, 2007-2009) study. In May 2009 the
Program Board for Human Spaceflight and Exploration (PB-HME) decided that
the ASIM payload shall be part of the ELIPS-3 program and allocated funding
to ASIM from the program. A flight model of the ASIM payload will be built through Phase C/D
starting early 2010.
The ASIM payload consists of a minimum (maximum) of two (six) optical imagers, two (six) UV photometers, and
one X- and gamma-ray detector. The minimum refers to the optical instruments looking in the
same dierction as the X- and gamma-ray detector. A sketch of the payload on the lower starboard of
the Columbus module are shown below ( marked red in the figure)
The modular X-ray and gamma sensor (MXGS) and responsibility of University of Bergen
The University of Bergen will, in collaboration with the Norwegian firm Gamma Medica Ideas
and the Space Research Center, Polish Academy of Science (SRC PAS), Warszawa, Poland,
design and build the detector boards and read-out electronics for MXGS including the
High Voltage and Low Voltage Support. The MXGS has two detector layers covering a large
energy range (15 keV to 20 MeV) and will have imaging capabilities. We expect ASIM/MXGS to see about 1000 TGFs a year (ten times
RHESSI and 100 times BATSE) and for each TGF we will have about 300 counts (ten times RHESSI).
The Norwegian science team involves researchers from the University of Bergen and Norwegian
Institute for Air Research (NILU) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
The Norwegian participation in ASIM is funded through ESA ELIPS-3 program, ESA PRODEX program,
Research Council of Norway and the University of Bergen.
ASIM is an international
T. Neubert (National
Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, NSI/DTU)
N. Østgaard (University of
V. Reglero (University of Valencia, Spain)
C. Budtz-Jørgensen (NSI/DTU)
E. Blanc (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, France).
The scientific team includes groups from more than 15 countries.
The main participants during Phase B have been:
Damec Research AS
University of Bergen, Norway
University of Valencia, Spain