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Proceedings Paper

Report on new mission concept study: Stereo X-Ray Corona Imager mission
Author(s): Paulett C. Liewer; John M. Davis; E. M. De Jong; G. Allen Gary; James A. Klimchuk; Richard P. Reinert
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Paper Abstract

Studies of the 3D structure and dynamics of the solar corona have been severely limited by the constraint of single viewpoint observations. The Stereo X-Ray Coronal Imager (SXCI) mission will send a single instrument, an X-ray telescope, into deep space expressly to record stereoscopic images of the solar corona. The SXCI spacecraft will be inserted into an approximately 1 ZAU heliocentric orbit leading Earth by approximately 25 degrees at the end of nine months. The SXCI x-ray telescope forms one element of a stereo pair, the second element being an identical x-ray telescope in Earth orbit placed there as part of the NOAA GOES program. X-ray emission is a powerful diagnostic of the corona and its magnetic fields, and 3D information on the coronal magnetic structure would be obtained by combining the data from the two x-ray telescopes. This information can be used to address the major solar physics questions of (1) what causes explosive coronal events such as coronal mass ejections, eruptive flares and prominence eruptions and (2) what causes the transient heating of coronal loops. Stereoscopic views of the optically thin corona will resolve some ambiguities inherent in single line-of-sight observations. Triangulation gives 3D solar coordinates of features which can be seen in the simultaneous images form both telescopes. As part of this study, tools were developed for determining the 3D geometry of coronal features using triangulation. Advanced technologies for visualization and analysis of stereo images were tested. Results of mission and spacecraft studies are also reported.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 November 1998
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3442, Missions to the Sun II, (2 November 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.330264
Show Author Affiliations
Paulett C. Liewer, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
John M. Davis, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
E. M. De Jong, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
G. Allen Gary, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
James A. Klimchuk, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Richard P. Reinert, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)

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

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