NRL conceived the solar radiation (SolRAD) program in the late 1950s as a series of missions designed to permit long-term study of the effects of solar emissions on earth.
All of the SolRAD satellites were designed and built by the SED at NRL's Payload Processing Facility in Washington, D.C.
The SolRAD series was designed to provide continuous coverage of wavelength and intensity changes of solar radiation in the ultraviolet, soft X-ray, and hard X-ray ranges.
SolRAD I was launched in 1960 and SolRAD X, the final SolRAD mission, was launched in 1971.
The SolRAD series I, IV, and VI through X collected solar X-ray and ultraviolet data during numerous intervals in the years 1960 to 1973. The data consist of photon fluxes in various wavelength bands, recorded in tables, plots, and catalogs on microfiche and digital magnetic tapes. The instrumentation and quantity of data improved with succeeding spacecraft in the series.
SolRAD Launch History
|Launch Date||Launch Vehicle||Useful Life||Comments|
|22 June 1960||Thor Able Star||10 months||First solar satellite|
|30 November 1960||Thor Able Star||------||Launch vehicle failed|
|29 June 1961||Thor Able Star||5 months||Separation failed|
|24 January 1962||Thor Able Star||------||Launch vehicle failed|
|26 April 1962||Scout||------||Launch vehicle failed|
|15 June 1963||Thor Agena||67 days||Orbit decayed|
|11 January 1964||Thor Agena||23 months||Operation satisfactory|
|9 March 1965||Thor Agena||52 months||Operation satisfactory|
|18 March 1966||Scout||24 months||50% satisfactory|
|5 March 1968||Scout||6 years||Operation satisfactory|
|6 July 1971||Scout||7 years||Operation satisfactory|
|14 March 1976||Titan IIIC||15 months||Operation satisfactory|
|14 March 1976||Titan IIIC||40 months||Operation satisfactory|