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28 September 2015 Design status of ASPIICS, an externally occulted coronagraph for PROBA-3
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The “sonic region” of the Sun corona remains extremely difficult to observe with spatial resolution and sensitivity sufficient to understand the fine scale phenomena that govern the quiescent solar corona, as well as phenomena that lead to coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which influence space weather. Improvement on this front requires eclipse-like conditions over long observation times. The space-borne coronagraphs flown so far provided a continuous coverage of the external parts of the corona but their over-occulting system did not permit to analyse the part of the white-light corona where the main coronal mass is concentrated. The proposed PROBA-3 Coronagraph System, also known as ASPIICS (Association of Spacecraft for Polarimetric and Imaging Investigation of the Corona of the Sun), with its novel design, will be the first space coronagraph to cover the range of radial distances between ~1.08 and 3 solar radii where the magnetic field plays a crucial role in the coronal dynamics, thus providing continuous observational conditions very close to those during a total solar eclipse. PROBA-3 is first a mission devoted to the in-orbit demonstration of precise formation flying techniques and technologies for future European missions, which will fly ASPIICS as primary payload. The instrument is distributed over two satellites flying in formation (approx. 150m apart) to form a giant coronagraph capable of producing a nearly perfect eclipse allowing observing the sun corona closer to the rim than ever before. The coronagraph instrument is developed by a large European consortium including about 20 partners from 7 countries under the auspices of the European Space Agency. This paper is reviewing the recent improvements and design updates of the ASPIICS instrument as it is stepping into the detailed design phase.
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Etienne Renotte, Andres Alia, Alessandro Bemporad, Joseph Bernier, Cristina Bramanti, Steve Buckley, Gerardo Capobianco, Ileana Cernica, Vladimir Dániel, Radoslav Darakchiev, Marcin Darmetko, Arnaud Debaize, François Denis, Richard Desselle, Lieve de Vos, Adrian Dinescu, Silvano Fineschi, Karl Fleury-Frenette, Mauro Focardi, Aurélie Fumel, Damien Galano, Camille Galy, Jean-Marie Gillis, Tomasz Górski, Estelle Graas, Rafał Graczyk, Konrad Grochowski, Jean-Philippe A. Halain, Aline Hermans, Russ Howard, Carl Jackson, Emmanuel Janssen, Hubert Kasprzyk, Jacek Kosiec, Serge Koutchmy, Jana Kovačičinová, Nektarios Kranitis, Michał Kurowski, Michał Ładno, Philippe Lamy, Federico Landini, Radek Lapáček, Vít Lédl, Sylvie Liebecq, Davide Loreggia, Brian McGarvey, Giuseppe Massone, Radek Melich, Agnes Mestreau-Garreau, Dominique Mollet, Łukasz Mosdorf, Michał Mosdorf, Mateusz Mroczkowski, Raluca Muller, Gianalfredo Nicolini, Bogdan Nicula, Kevin O'Neill, Piotr Orleański, Marie-Catherine Palau, Maurizio Pancrazzi, Antonios Paschalis, Karel Patočka, Radek Peresty, Irina Popescu, Pavel Psota, Miroslaw Rataj, Jan Rautakoski, Marco Romoli, Roman Rybecký, Lucas Salvador, Jean-Sébastien Servaye, Cornel Solomon, Yvan Stockman, Arkadiusz Swat, Cédric Thizy, Michel Thomé, Kanaris Tsinganos, Jim Van der Meulen, Nico Van Vooren, Tomáš Vit, Tomasz Walczak, Alicja Zarzycka, Joe Zender, and Andrei Zhukov "Design status of ASPIICS, an externally occulted coronagraph for PROBA-3", Proc. SPIE 9604, Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation VI, 96040A (28 September 2015);

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