Mullard Space Science Laboratory

M S S L  N E W S
18th May 2005

Solar-B Component Testing

MSSL has been host this week to two visitors from the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for the testing of some hardware components which form part of the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) on the Solar-B Satellite.

Steven Myers and John Shea from NRL have been working with MSSL's Matt Whillock and Jason Tandy. Earlier in the week the Instrument Control Unit (ICU) was tested in the thermal-vacuum chamber. Today's testing is on the Mechanism and Heater Control Unit, supplied by NRL. Constant temperatures in EIS are crucial to maintain a stable focus in the telescope.

Steven Myers (standing) and Jason Tandy

The testing has been carried out at MSSL using a flight spare for the Mechanism and Heater Control Unit and development models.

Solar-B is the Japanese/UK/US follow up mission to the hugely successful Yohkoh satellite which studied the X-ray Sun for almost 10 years. Solar-B, to be renamed at launch, will carry a suite of instruments allowing the study of the interaction between the Sun's magnetic field and the corona.

Matt and Jason return to Japan this weekend for further work, and Solar-B is due for launch in August 2006.


Notes to Editors:

Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL

MSSL is situated in Holmbury St Mary between Dorking and Guildford, and is the Space and Climate Physics Department of University College London. The Group moved from London to Holmbury St Mary in 1965 after Holmbury House was purchased with funds donated by the Mullard electronics company. 150 scientists work at MSSL across 5 groups; solar and stellar physics, planetary and plasma physics, astrophysics, detector physics and climate physics. The laboratory houses world-class facilities to design, build and test instrumentation as well as analyse the data taken by the instruments in space.


Dr Lucie Green
Mullard Space Science Laboratory
Tel: 01483 204100 (Switchboard)