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Proceedings Paper

Innovations on the Solar Probe mission
Author(s): James E. Randolph; Juan A. Ayon; Kim Leschly; Robert N. Miyake; Bruce T. Tsurutani
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Paper Abstract

Both instrument and spacecraft innovations are necessary to develop a mission to four solar radii called the Solar Probe. One of the key observable is the solar wind and its characteristics. To observe the solar wind and the entire plasma distribution function near the sun, two different plasma instruments have been incorporated in the current concept. One instrument can take advantage of velocity aberration to observe the solar wind. This plasma instrument uses an innovative pixelated APS-like plasma detector to view this aberrative solar wind and to allow the sampling of a complete plasma distribution function in 10-2 sec. Another instrument innovation is the nadir viewing plasma spectrometer which will observe solar wind species in the nadir direction that have high velocities and little or no velocity aberration relative to the spacecraft. A high temperature system of electrostatic mirrors with its own solar instruments are another class of instrument innovations on the Solar Probe. Optical observations of the solar disc will be accomplished with filled aperture tubers which will contribute to the reduction of the 3000 suns solar flux to a few suns at the instrument aperture. The tubes will be fabricated form a carbon-carbon material using a process that optimizes its optical properties which reduces its temperature and its mass loss. Its parabolic shape allows the dual function of shield and antenna at the extreme perihelion temperatures of over 2000 K. he high temperature solar arrays will function near perihelion because of thee characteristics: a high temperature photovoltaic material, feathering of the solar arrays to high incidence angles, and the self occultation of the solar arrays near perihelion.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 November 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3442, Missions to the Sun II, (2 November 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.330253
Show Author Affiliations
James E. Randolph, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Juan A. Ayon, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Kim Leschly, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Robert N. Miyake, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Bruce T. Tsurutani, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3442:
Missions to the Sun II
Clarence M. Korendyke, Editor(s)

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