ABSTRACT: The Sun Watcher with Active Pixels and Image Processing (SWAP) is an EUV
solar telescope on board ESA's Project for Onboard Autonomy 2 (PROBA2) mission
launched on 2 November 2009. SWAP has a spectral bandpass centered on 17.4 nm
and provides images of the low solar corona over a 54x54 arcmin field-of-view
with 3.2 arcsec pixels and an imaging cadence of about two minutes. SWAP is
designed to monitor all space-weather-relevant events and features in the low
solar corona. Given the limited resources of the PROBA2 microsatellite, the
SWAP telescope is designed with various innovative technologies, including an
off-axis optical design and a CMOS-APS detector. This article provides
reference documentation for users of the SWAP image data.
ABSTRACT: CMOS-APS imaging detectors open new opportunities for remote sensing in solar physics beyond what classical CCDs can provide,
offering far less power consumption, simpler electronics, better radiation hardness, and the possibility of avoiding a mechanical
shutter. The SWAP telescope onboard the PROBA2 technology demonstration satellite of the European Space Agency will be the
first actual implementation of a CMOS-APS detector for solar physics in orbit. One of the goals of the SWAP project is precisely
to acquire experience with the CMOS-APS technology in a real-live space science context. Such a precursor mission is essential
in the preparation of missions such as Solar Orbiter where the extra CMOS-APS functionalities will be hard requirements. The current paper concentrates on specific CMOS-APS issues
that were identified during the SWAP preflight calibration measurements. We will discuss the different readout possibilities
that the CMOS-APS detector of SWAP provides and their associated pros and cons. In particular we describe the “image lag”
effect, which results in a contamination of each image with a remnant of the previous image. We have characterised this effect
for the specific SWAP implementation and we conclude with a strategy on how to successfully circumvent the problem and actually
take benefit of it for solar monitoring.
Solar Physics 04/2012; 249(1):147-163. · 2.78 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: We briefly describe an investigation aiming at the development of a
giant solar coronagraph instrument onboard of two satellites, separated
by about 150 m in formation flight for the detailed observation of the
solar coronal plasma. The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected this
instrument as the only payload onboard the Proba 3 satellites which will
be launched in 2013. The Greek team is developing the command control
board of the coronagraph.
ABSTRACT: The DynaMICCS mission is designed to probe and understand the dynamics of crucial regions of the Sun that determine solar
variability, including the previously unexplored inner core, the radiative/convective zone interface layers, the photosphere/chromosphere
layers and the low corona. The mission delivers data and knowledge that no other known mission provides for understanding
space weather and space climate and for advancing stellar physics (internal dynamics) and fundamental physics (neutrino properties,
atomic physics, gravitational moments...). The science objectives are achieved using Doppler and magnetic measurements of
the solar surface, helioseismic and coronographic measurements, solar irradiance at different wavelengths and in-situ measurements
of plasma/energetic particles/magnetic fields. The DynaMICCS payload uses an original concept studied by Thalès Alenia Space
in the framework of the CNES call for formation flying missions: an external occultation of the solar light is obtained by
putting an occulter spacecraft 150 m (or more) in front of a second spacecraft. The occulter spacecraft, a LEO platform of
the mini sat class, e.g. PROTEUS, type carries the helioseismic and irradiance instruments and the formation flying technologies.
The latter spacecraft of the same type carries a visible and infrared coronagraph for a unique observation of the solar corona
and instrumentation for the study of the solar wind and imagers. This mission must guarantee long (one 11-year solar cycle)
and continuous observations (duty cycle > 94%) of signals that can be very weak (the gravity mode detection supposes the measurement
of velocity smaller than 1 mm/s). This assumes no interruption in observation and very stable thermal conditions. The preferred
orbit therefore is the L1 orbit, which fits these requirements very well and is also an attractive environment for the spacecraft
due to its low radiation and low perturbation (solar pressure) environment. This mission is secured by instrumental R and
D activities during the present and coming years. Some prototypes of different instruments are already built (GOLFNG, SDM)
and the performances will be checked before launch on the ground or in space through planned missions of CNES and PROBA ESA
missions (PICARD, LYRA, maybe ASPIICS).
Experimental Astronomy 04/2009; 23(3):1017-1055. · 1.82 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Aims. LYRA, the Large Yield Radiometer, is a vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) solar radiometer, planned to be launched in November 2009 on the European Space Agency PROBA2, the Project for On-Board Autonomy spacecraft.Methods. The instrument was radiometrically calibrated in the radiometry laboratory of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) at the Berlin Electron Storage ring for SYnchroton radiation (BESSY II). The calibration was done using monochromatized synchrotron radiation at PTB's VUV and soft X-ray radiometry beamlines using reference detectors calibrated with the help of an electrical substitution radiometer as the primary detector standard.Results. A total relative uncertainty of the radiometric calibration of the LYRA instrument between 1% and 11% was achieved. LYRA will provide irradiance data of the Sun in four UV passbands and with high temporal resolution down to 10 ms. The present state of the LYRA pre-flight calibration is presented as well as the expected instrument performance.
Astronomy and Astrophysics 03/2009; 508(2):1085-1094. · 4.59 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: We report on experimental results with photodetectors made of diamond. the Large Yield Radiometer (LYRA), will use such detectors for the first time for a solar physics space instrument. A (LYRA) set of measurement campaigns was carried out to obtain their XUV-to-VIS characterization (responsivity, linearity, stability, homogeneity). The responsivity has been measured from the XUV to the NIR, in the wavelength range 1–1127 nm (i.e. 1240–1.1 eV). The diamond detectors exhibit a photoresponse varying in the 40–75 mA/W range at 7 nm and demonstrate a visible rejection ratio (200 versus 500 nm) larger than four orders of magnitude. We show that diamond photodetectors are sensitive sensors for VUV photons, stable within a few percent, with a good linearity and moderate homogeneity.
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment 11/2006; 568:398-405. · 1.21 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: New pin-photodiode and metal–semiconductor–metal (MSM) photoconductor devices based on diamond material have been produced showing high responsivity around 200 nm. LYRA, the Large Yield RAdiometer, will use such detectors for the first time for a solar physics space instrument. A set of measurement campaigns was carried out to obtain their XUV-to-VIS characterization (responsivity, linearity, stability and homogeneity). The diamond pin and MSM photodetectors exhibit a high responsivity of 27 mA/W around 200 nm and demonstrate a visible rejection ratio (200 nm versus 500 nm) of six and four orders of magnitude, respectively. We show that these diamond photodetectors are sensitive sensors for the wavelength range of interest (1 nm to 220 nm), stable within a few percent, with a good linearity and moderate homogeneity.
Diamond and Related Materials 08/2006; 15(4-8):802-806. · 1.91 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: LYRA is the solar UV radiometer that will embark in 2006 onboard Proba2, a technologically oriented ESA micro-mission. LYRA is designed and manufactured by a Belgian–Swiss–German consortium (ROB, PMOD/WRC, IMOMEC, CSL, MPS and BISA) with additional international collaborations. It will monitor the solar irradiance in four UV passbands. They have been chosen for their relevance to Solar Physics, Aeronomy and Space Weather: (1) the 115–125 nm Lyman-α channel, (2) the 200–220 nm Herzberg continuum range, (3) the Aluminium filter channel (17–70 nm) including He II at 30.4 nm and (4) the Zirconium filter channel (1–20 nm). The radiometric calibration will be traceable to synchrotron source standards (PTB and NIST). The stability will be monitored by onboard calibration sources (LEDs), which allow to distinguish between potential degradations of the detectors and filters. Additionally, a redundancy strategy maximizes the accuracy and the stability of the measurements. LYRA will benefit from wide bandgap detectors based on diamond: it will be the first space assessment of a pioneering UV detectors program. Diamond sensors make the instruments radiation-hard and solar-blind: their high bandgap energy makes them insensitive to visible light and, therefore, make dispensable visible light blocking filters, which seriously attenuate the desired ultraviolet signal. Their elimination augments the effective area and hence the signal-to-noise, therefore increasing the precision and the cadence. The SWAP EUV imaging telescope will operate next to LYRA on Proba2. Together, they will establish a high performance solar monitor for operational space weather nowcasting and research. LYRA demonstrates technologies important for future missions such as the ESA Solar Orbiter
Advances in Space Research 03/2006; 37(2):303-312. · 1.18 Impact Factor
Wilson, A.: Proceedings Sixth International Conference on Space Optics, ESA Publ. Div., 145 (2006). 01/2006;
ABSTRACT: LYRA is the solar UV radiometer that will embark in 2006 onboard Proba2, a technologically oriented ESA micro-mission. LYRA is designed and manufactured by a Belgian–Swiss–German consortium (ROB, PMOD/WRC, IMOMEC, CSL, MPS and BISA) with additional international collaborations. It will monitor the solar irradiance in four UV passbands. They have been chosen for their relevance to Solar Physics, Aeronomy and Space Weather: (1) the 115–125 nm Lyman-α channel, (2) the 200–220 nm Herzberg continuum range, (3) the Aluminium filter channel (17–70 nm) including He II at 30.4 nm and (4) the Zirconium filter channel (1–20 nm). The radiometric calibration will be traceable to synchrotron source standards (PTB and NIST). The stability will be monitored by onboard calibration sources (LEDs), which allow to distinguish between potential degradations of the detectors and filters. Additionally, a redundancy strategy maximizes the accuracy and the stability of the measurements. LYRA will benefit from wide bandgap detectors based on diamond: it will be the first space assessment of a pioneering UV detectors program. Diamond sensors make the instruments radiation-hard and solar-blind: their high bandgap energy makes them insensitive to visible light and, therefore, make dispensable visible light blocking filters, which seriously attenuate the desired ultraviolet signal. Their elimination augments the effective area and hence the signal-to-noise, therefore increasing the precision and the cadence. The SWAP EUV imaging telescope will operate next to LYRA on Proba2. Together, they will establish a high performance solar monitor for operational space weather nowcasting and research. LYRA demonstrates technologies important for future missions such as the ESA Solar Orbiter.
Advances in Space Research 01/2006; 37(2):303-312. · 1.18 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Two scientific instruments for Sun observations are being developed to be part of the payload of the ESA's second microsatellite, Proba-II (Project for On-board Autonomy). PROBA-2 is scheduled for launch in early 2007, on a low Earth orbit. Like Proba-1, in orbit since October 2001, Proba-2 is a 100-kilogram class spacecraft. PROBA-II will demonstrate new advanced technologies on its scientific payload but also on new platform subsystems such as star tracker, digital Sun sensor, cool gas generator, solar array concentrator, Li-Ion Battery, new central processor. This paper is dedicated to the solar payload, comprising the Sun Watcher using Active Pixel System detector and image Processing (SWAP) and the Lyman alpha Radiometer (LYRA), both aiming at Sun observations. SWAP, the Belgian-led main instrument, will continuously provide detailed images of the solar atmosphere, by the light of extreme ultraviolet rays, at 17.4 nm, completely absorbed by the terrestrial atmosphere. SWAP will perform as an operational solar monitoring tool for space weather forecasting while it will also demonstrate new technological solutions: CMOS/APS detector, new off-axis telescope design, a thermal structure. LYRA (LYman-alpha RAdiometer) is a small compact solar VUV radiometer. This instrument is designed, manufactured and calibrated by a Belgian-Swiss-German consortium. It will monitor the solar flux in four UV passbands. The spectral channels have been carefully selected for their relevance to space weather, solar physics and aeronomy, ranging from 1 nm to 220 nm. On the technological side, LYRA will benefit from the pioneering UV detectors program using diamond technology. The LYRA data will produce valuable solar monitoring information, for operational space weather nowcasting and research. This paper will detail the instrument concepts and their preparation for delivery to the platform.
Recent Advances in Space Technologies, 2005. RAST 2005. Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on; 07/2005
ABSTRACT: The COROT mission is part of the program "mini-satellite" of CNES
(French space agency). It implies international cooperation between
European institutes and research centres. COROT aims to perform
astroseismology observations and to detect exoplanets. Long duration
observations of stars will be used to detect periodic variations with an
afocal telescope followed by a dioptric objective and 4 CCDs. These very
small variations can be caused by star seismic activities (about
10-6 variation of signal) or transits of planets (few
10-4 variation of signal). Due to the orbit of the spacecraft
(low altitude polar orbit) and even if the observations are performed in
a direction perpendicular to orbit plane, the measurements can be
disturbed by the straylight reflected by the earth (albedo) that can
generate a periodic perturbation. The paper details the overall optical
design of the baffle. The baffle modelling and straylight computation
methods are described and the expected performances are discussed.
ABSTRACT: This paper presents the preflight photometric calibration of the Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) aboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). The EIT consists of a Ritchey–Chrtien telescope with multilayer coatings applied to four quadrants of the primary and secondary mirrors, several filters and a backside-thinned CCD detector. The quadrants of the EIT optics were used to observe the Sun in 4 wavelength bands that peak near 171, 195, 284, and 304. Before the launch of SOHO, the EIT mirror reflectivities, the filter transmissivities and the CCD quantum efficiency were measured and these values are described here. The instrumental throughput in terms of an effective area is presented for each of the various mirror quadrant and filter wheel combinations. The response to a coronal plasma as a function of temperature is also determined and the expected count rates are compared to the count rates observed in a coronal hole, the quiet Sun and an active region.
Solar Physics 01/2000; 195(1):13-44. · 2.78 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Solar EUV images recorded by the EUV Imaging Telescope (EIT) on SOHO have been used to evaluate temperature and density as a function of position in two largescale features in the corona observed in the temperature range of 1.0–2.0MK. Such observations permit estimates of longitudinal temperature gradients (if present) in the corona and, consequently, estimates of thermal conduction and radiative losses as a function of position in the features. We examine two relatively cool features as recorded in EIT's Feix/x (171) and Fexii (195) bands in a decaying active region. The first is a long-lived loop-like feature with one leg, ending in the active region, much more prominent than one or more distant footpoints assumed to be rooted in regions of weakly enhanced field. The other is a near-radial feature, observed at the West limb, which may be either the base of a very high loop or the base of a helmet streamer. We evaluate energy requirements to support a steady-state energy balance in these features and find in both instances that downward thermal conductive losses (at heights above the transition region) are inadequate to support local radiative losses, which are the predominant loss mechanism. The requirement that a coronal energy deposition rate proportional to the square of the ambient electron density (or pressure) is present in these cool coronal features provides an additional constraint on coronal heating mechanisms.
Solar Physics 11/1998; 183(2):305-321. · 2.78 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: We present the first observations of the initiation of a coronal mass ejection (CME) seen on the disk of the Sun. Observations
with the EIT experiment on SOHO show that the CME began in a small volume and was initially associated with slow motions of
prominence material and a small brightening at one end of the prominence. Shortly afterward, the prominence was accelerated
to about 100 km s-1 and was preceded by a bright loop-like structure, which surrounded an emission void, that traveled out into the corona at
a velocity of 200–400 km s-1. These three components, the prominence, the dark void, and the bright loops are typical of CMEs when seen at distance in
the corona and here are shown to be present at the earliest stages of the CME. The event was later observed to traverse the
LASCO coronagraphs fields of view from 1.1 to 30 R⊙. Of particular interest is the fact that this large-scale event, spanning
as much as 70 deg in latitude, originated in a volume with dimensions of roughly 35" (2.5 x 104 km). Further, a disturbance that propagated across the disk and a chain of activity near the limb may also be associated
with this event as well as a considerable degree of activity near the west limb.
Solar Physics 09/1997; 175(2):601-612. · 2.78 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) on board the SOHO spacecraft has been operational since 2 January 1996. EIT
observes the Sun over a 45 x 45 arc min field of view in four emission line groups: Feix, x, Fexii, Fexv, and Heii. A post-launch
determination of the instrument flatfield, the instrument scattering function, and the instrument aging were necessary for
the reduction and analysis of the data. The observed structures and their evolution in each of the four EUV bandpasses are
characteristic of the peak emission temperature of the line(s) chosen for that bandpass. Reports on the initial results of
a variety of analysis projects demonstrate the range of investigations now underway: EIT provides new observations of the
corona in the temperature range of 1 to 2 MK. Temperature studies of the large-scale coronal features extend previous coronagraph
work with low-noise temperature maps. Temperatures of radial, extended, plume-like structures in both the polar coronal hole
and in a low latitude decaying active region were found to be cooler than the surrounding material. Active region loops were
investigated in detail and found to be isothermal for the low loops but hottest at the loop tops for the large loops.
Variability of solar EUV structures, as observed in the EIT time sequences, is pervasive and leads to a re-evaluation of the
meaning of the term ‘quiet Sun’. Intensity fluctuations in a high cadence sequence of coronal and chromospheric images correspond
to a Kolmogorov turbulence spectrum. This can be interpreted in terms of a mixed stochastic or periodic driving of the transition
region and the base of the corona. No signature of the photospheric and chromospheric waves is found in spatially averaged
power spectra, indicating that these waves do not propagate to the upper atmosphere or are channeled through narrow local
magnetic structures covering a small fraction of the solar surface. Polar coronal hole observing campaigns have identified
an outflow process with the discovery of transient Fexii jets. Coronal mass ejection observing campaigns have identified the
beginning of a CME in an Fexii sequence with a near simultaneous filament eruption (seen in absorption), formation of a coronal
void and the initiation of a bright outward-moving shell as well as the coronal manifestation of a ‘Moreton wave’.
Solar Physics 09/1997; 175(2):571-599. · 2.78 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) will provide wide-field images of the corona and transition region on the solar disc and up to 1.5 R above the solar limb. Its normal incidence multilayer-coated optics will select spectral emission lines from Fe IX (171 ), Fe XII (195 ), Fe XV (284 ), and He II (304 ) to provide sensitive temperature diagnostics in the range from 6 104 K to 3 106 K. The telescope has a 45 x 45 arcmin field of view and 2.6 arcsec pixels which will provide approximately 5-arcsec spatial resolution. The EIT will probe the coronal plasma on a global scale, as well as the underlying cooler and turbulent atmosphere, providing the basis for comparative analyses with observations from both the ground and other SOHO instruments. This paper presents details of the EIT instrumentation, its performance and operating modes.
Solar Physics 11/1995; 162(1):291-312. · 2.78 Impact Factor