The next-generation EUV imaging telescope, proposed for the Solar-C Mission.  The instrument would be built by an international consortium.
The next-generation EUV imaging telescope, proposed for the Solar-C Mission. The instrument would be built by an international consortium.

Objectives
Observe the entire solar atmosphere from the chromosphere into the corona (including flares) with ultra-high spatial and spectral resolution. Determine the flow of energy and dissipation throughout the entire atmosphere. Determine the mechanisms responsible for heating the solar corona.
Understanding how the solar atmosphere is formed and maintained from first principles enables a precision space weather warning system to be developed. The ultimate goal is to predict solar phenomena that are major drivers of geomagnetic disturbances that adversely affect areas such as spacecraft anomaly assessment, orbital tracking, polar flight activities, the power grid, and ionosphere variations.

Approach
Develop an Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) imaging spectrometer with the following properties:

  • A spatial resolution of ~0.3” (240 km) and a spectral resolution sufficient to measure 3 km/s gas flows if count rates are adequate
  • Observe all temperatures between 20,000 K and 20 MK with availability of suitable electron density and abundance diagnostics
  • Throughput high enough to cover a large dynamical range of solar activity down to the level of a few seconds
  • Current target flight opportunity: the future Japanese Solar-C Mission

Deliverable/Value/Accomplishment

  • NRL participated in the developing the scientific rationale and instrument design for a next-generation solar EUV imaging telescope. Part of the work appears in the Japanese Solar-C Interim Report, the NASA Heliophysics Roadmap, a Space Studies Board Heliophysics decadal survey white paper, and technical papers are submitted for publication to SPIE and Experimental Astronomy
  • NRL scientists are participating in the worldwide community development of the Solar-C mission
  • Solar-C, the next Japanese-led space solar observatory, will follow from the Solar-B Hinode mission