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Solar Orbiter. Contents. The mission The orbit The instruments VIM: Visible-light Imager and Magnetograph Helioseismology with VIM. Solar Orbiter: the mission. Mission: Assessment phase Instruments: Concept phase

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  • The mission

  • The orbit

  • The instruments

  • VIM: Visible-light Imager and Magnetograph

  • Helioseismology with VIM

Solar orbiter the mission
Solar Orbiter: the mission

  • Mission: Assessment phase

  • Instruments: Concept phase

  • Objective: Produce images of the Sun at an unprecedented resolution and perform closest in-situ measurements

  • Launch: May 2015

  • End: January 2024

  • Cruise phase(3y), nominal phase(3y), extended phase(2y).

  • Solar Electric Propulsion  Chemical Propulsion

Solar orbiter1
Solar Orbiter

Solar orbiter the orbit
Solar Orbiter: the orbit

  • Elliptical orbit around the Sun

  • Proximity to the Sun  up to 0.27 A.U

  • Inclination of up to 35º

  • Cruise phase of approx. 3.4 year using gravity assists from Venus and Earth.  150-day-long science orbit.

  • Close encounters with the Sun.

  • Venus gravity assist maneuvers to increase inclination.

Solar orbiter the orbit1
Solar Orbiter: the orbit

Assisted by a series of Venus swing-bys, the spacecraft’s 150-day orbit will evolve gradually over the mission lifetime from an inclination of about 12 to 35 degrees to the solar equator.

Solar orbiter the instruments
Solar Orbiter: the instruments

  • Field Package:

    • Radio and Plasma Wave Analyzer

    • Coronal Radio Sounding and Magnetometer

  • Particle Package:

    • Energetic Particle detector

    • Dust detector

    • Neutron and Gamma-Ray Detector

    • Solar Wind Plasma Analyzer

  • Solar remote sensing instrumentation:

    • Visible-light Imager and Magnetograph (VIM)

    • EUV Imager and Spectrometer

    • Coronagraph

    • Spectometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays

    • Radiometer ???

Visible light imager and magnetograph vim
Visible-Light Imager and Magnetograph (VIM)

  • Vector magnetic field capabilities (priority).

  • Line-of-sight velocity maps by observing 4-5 points on either side of a spectral line. Mention the possible lines HMI, IMaX, GONG.

  • Two functions:

    • High resolution Telescope (HRT)

    • Full Disc Telescope (FDT)

      Using two telescopes that share filtergraph optics and detector.

  • Magnetic field and velocities calculated on board

  • Telemetry restricted and only approx. ¼ of total VIM telemetry will be assigned to velocity data.

Local helioseismology with vim
Local Helioseismology with VIM


  • Observation of high latitudes and the poles

  • Some very high resolution data

  • Proximity to the sun. Not really needed for helioseismology

  • Co-rotation (not clear what it means)

  • Maybe continuous 256x256 full disk data


  • Short series of data (~10 days every 50 days)

  • Variable resolution in a 512x512 grid (or less)

Local helioseismology with vim1
Local Helioseismology with VIM

  • Dynamic/Magnetic description of the solar subsurface at high latitudes and the poles.

  • Rings:

    • Differential rotation close to the poles.

    • Meridional circulation: Solve the multi-cell circulation mystery…

  • Time Distance:

    • Dynamics down to the tacholine at the poles.

    • Combined VIM-HMI/GONG for deep interior research.

  • Holography

    • Farside calibration/mapping the near side

    • Mapping the poles.