Japan's next solar physics mission, Solar-B, will place the first large
(50 cm) solar optical telescope in space. Launch is scheduled for August
Japan - UK - USA
Whereas Yohkoh (Solar-A) continues to be
highly successful in studying the active Sun, with emphasis on high-energy
phenomena in the corona, Solar-B will study the connections between
fine magnetic field elements in the photosphere and the structure
and dynamics of the entire solar atmosphere.
The mission will perform three basic types of observation
with high spatial, spectral and temporal resolution :
A coordinated set of instruments will deliver these observations
Determination of the photospheric magnetic vector and velocity
Observation of the properties of the resulting plasma structures
in the transition region and corona.
Measurement of the detailed density, temperature and velocity
of these structures.
A 0.5 m optical telescope equipped with a vector magnetograph,
narrow band imager and spectrometer to obtain photospheric magnetic and
velocity fields at 0.2 arc sec (~150 km) resolution.
An EUV imaging spectrometer to obtain plasma velocities
to an accuracy of <= 10 km s-1 along with temperatures and
densities in the transition region and corona at <2 arc sec resolution.
An X-ray/EUV telescope to image transition region and coronal
plasma in the range 0.5 - 20 MK at ~2 arc sec resolution.
A computer enhanced picture of the Solar-B satellite in
FPP is the focal plane package for the Solar Optical Telescope (SOT),
which is a diffraction limited aplanatic Gregorian with an aperture of
0.5 m providing angular resolution of ~0.2 arcsec over the
field-of-view of ~400 x 400 arcsec.
FPP consists of a filter vector magnetograph (FG) and a spectro-polarimeter
(SP). This combination allows the acquisition, for the first time, of a
continuous series of high-precision vector magnetograms, Dopplergrams and
filtergrams with sub-arcsec resolution.
Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL) is responsible
for producing FPP. In a follow-on to the GOES-SXI collaboration, LMSAL
have again placed a subcontract with MSSL to manage the procurement of
Marconi CCDs and perform additional CCD characterisation.
FPP will use three custom designs of CCD, as follows:
Correlation Tracker (CT) CCD80
Frame transfer, 50 x 50pixel image area, 50 x 50 storage area, 2 o/p
nodes, front-illuminated, broad optical response, operating temperature
Filtergraph (FG) CCD74
Split frame transfer, 2048 x 2048pixel image area, 2 off 2048 x 1024
storage areas (storage areas unmasked so can also be used for imaging),
4 o/p nodes (one at each end of each serial register), back illuminated,
broad optical response, operating temperature ~-40C
Spectro-Polarimeter (SP) CCD75
2off frame transfer CCDs on one piece of silicon, each with 1024 x
224 pixel image area and 1024 x 224 storage area, 4 o/p nodes (one at each
end of each serial register), front illuminated, response only required
at a wavelength of 630.2nm, operating temperature ~-40C
Solar B - FPP Links
ISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical
LMSAL (Lockheed Martin solar and Astrophysics
Page prepared by Chris McFee