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Proceedings Paper

The design, development, and implementation of a solar environmental simulator (SES) for the SAO Faraday Cup on Solar Probe Plus
Author(s): Peter Cheimets; Jay Bookbinder; Mark Freeman; Richard Gates; Thomas Gauron; Giora Guth; Justin Kasper; Kenneth McCracken; William Podgorski
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the implementation of a solar simulator, know as the Solar Environment Simulator (SES), that can simulate solar flux levels up to those encountered at 9.8 solar radii. The paper outlines the design, and the challenges of realizing the SES. It also describes its initial uses for proving out the design of the Solar Winds Electrons, Alphas, and Protons (SWEAP) Faraday cup. The upcoming Solar Probe Plus (SPP) mission requires that its in-situ plasma instrument (the Faraday Cup) survive and operate over an unprecedented range of temperatures. One of the key risk mitigation activities during Phase B has been to develop and implement a simulator that will enable thermal testing of the Faraday Cup under flight-like conditions. While still in the initial start-up, the SES has proven to be an instrumental component in the process of predicting the inflight performance of the SWEAP Faraday Cup. With near continuously variable power control above the threshold of 1.6kW/lamp up to approximately 6.5kW/lamp, the SES has been used to determine the system response to a wide range of incoming flux, thereby making it possible to correlate detailed thermal models to a high degree of certainty (see Ref. [1], Figure 1.1). The SES consists of a set of repurposed, and slightly re-designed standard movie projectors. The projectors have proven to be an economical and effective means to safely hold and control the xenon short-arc lamps that are the basis of the SES. This paper outlines the key challenges controlling the extremely high flux levels (~70w/cm^2) necessary to make the SES a useful test facility.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 September 2013
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8862, Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation V, 88620M (26 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2024051
Show Author Affiliations
Peter Cheimets, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Jay Bookbinder, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Mark Freeman, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Richard Gates, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Thomas Gauron, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Giora Guth, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Justin Kasper, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Kenneth McCracken, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
William Podgorski, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8862:
Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation V
Silvano Fineschi; Judy Fennelly, Editor(s)

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