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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

ASPIICS: a giant, white light and emission line coronagraph for the ESA proba-3 formation flight mission
Author(s): P. L. Lamy; S. Vivès; W. Curdt; L. Damé; J. Davila; J.-M. Defise; S. Fineschi; P. Heinzel; Russel Howard; S. Kuzin; W. Schmutz; K. Tsinganos; A. Zhukov

Paper Abstract

Classical externally-occulted coronagraphs are presently limited in their performances by the distance between the external occulter and the front objective. The diffraction fringe from the occulter and the vignetted pupil which degrades the spatial resolution prevent useful observations of the white light corona inside typically 2-2.5 solar radii (Rsun). Formation flying offers and elegant solution to these limitations and allows conceiving giant, externally-occulted coronagraphs using a two-component space system with the external occulter on one spacecraft and the optical instrument on the other spacecraft at a distance of hundred meters [1, 2]. Such an instrument ASPIICS (Association de Satellites Pour l’Imagerie et l’Interférométrie de la Couronne Solaire) has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to fly on its PROBA-3 mission of formation flying demonstration which is presently in phase B (Fig. 1). The classical design of an externally-occulted coronagraph is adapted to the formation flying configuration allowing the detection of the very inner corona as close as ∼0.04 solar radii from the solar limb. By tuning the position of the occulter spacecraft, it may even be possible to reach the chromosphere and the upper part of the spicules [3]. ASPIICS will perform (i) high spatial resolution imaging of the continuum K+F corona in photometric and polarimetric modes, (ii) high spatial resolution imaging of the E-corona in two coronal emission lines (CEL): Fe XIV and He I D3, and (iii) two-dimensional spectrophotometry of the Fe XIV emission line. ASPIICS will address the question of the coronal heating and the role of waves by characterizing propagating fluctuations (waves and turbulence) in the solar wind acceleration region and by looking for oscillations in the intensity and Doppler shift of spectral lines. The combined imaging and spectral diagnostics capabilities available with ASPIICS will allow mapping the velocity field of the corona both in the sky plane (directly on the images) and along the line-of-sight by measuring the Doppler shifts of emission lines in an effort to determine how the different components of the solar wind, slow and fast are accelerated. With a possible launch in 2014, ASPIICS will observe the corona during the maximum of solar activity, insuring the detection of many Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). By rapidly alternating high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy, CMEs will be thoroughly characterized.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 November 2017
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10565, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2010, 105650T (20 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2309188
Show Author Affiliations
P. L. Lamy, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
S. Vivès, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
W. Curdt, Max-Planck-Institute für Sonnensystemforschung (Germany)
L. Damé, Lab. Atmosphères (France)
J. Davila, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
J.-M. Defise, Ctr. Spatial de Liège (Belgium)
S. Fineschi, INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino (Italy)
P. Heinzel, Astronomical Institute of the Acad. of Sciences (Czech Republic)
Russel Howard, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
S. Kuzin, Lebedev Physical Institute (Russian Federation)
W. Schmutz, Physikalisch Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos (Switzerland)
K. Tsinganos, Univ. of Athens (Greece)
A. Zhukov, Royal Observatory of Belgium (Belgium)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10565:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2010
Errico Armandillo; Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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