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26 September 2013 Seeing the corona with the solar probe plus mission: the wide-field imager for solar probe+ (WISPR)
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Abstract
The Solar Probe Plus (SPP) mission scheduled for launch in 2018, will orbit between the Sun and Venus with diminishing perihelia reaching as close as 7 million km (9.86 solar radii) from Sun center. In addition to a suite of in-situ probes for the magnetic field, plasma, and energetic particles, SPP will be equipped with an imager. The Wide-field Imager for the Solar PRobe+ (WISPR), with a 95° radial by 58° transverse field of view, will image the fine-scale coronal structure of the corona, derive the 3D structure of the large-scale corona, and determine whether a dust-free zone exists near the Sun. Given the tight mass constrains of the mission, WISPR incorporates an efficient design of two widefield telescopes and their associated focal plane arrays based on novel large-format (2kx2k) APS CMOS detectors into the smallest heliospheric imaging package to date. The flexible control electronics allow WISPR to collect individual images at cadences up to 1 second at perihelion or sum several of them to increase the signal-to-noise during the outbound part of the orbit. The use of two telescopes minimizes the risk of dust damage which may be considerable close to the Sun. The dependency of the Thomson scattering emission of the corona on the imaging geometry dictates that WISPR will be very sensitive to the emission from plasma close to the spacecraft in contrast to the situation for imaging from Earth orbit. WISPR will be the first ‘local’ imager providing a crucial link between the large scale corona and the in-situ measurements.
© (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Angelos Vourlidas, Russell A. Howard, Simon P. Plunkett, Clarence M. Korendyke, Michael T. Carter, Arnaud F. R. Thernisien, Damien H. Chua, Peter Van Duyne, Dennis G. Socker, Mark G. Linton, Paulett C. Liewer, Jeffrey R. Hall, Jeff S. Morrill, Eric M. DeJong, Zoran Mikic, Pierre L. P. M. Rochus, Volker Bothmer, Jens Rodman, and Philippe Lamy "Seeing the corona with the solar probe plus mission: the wide-field imager for solar probe+ (WISPR)", Proc. SPIE 8862, Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation V, 88620I (26 September 2013); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2027508
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