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See detailSTEREO: Heliospheric Imager design, pre-flight, and in-flight response comparison
Halain, Jean-Philippe ULg; Mazy, Emmanuel ULg; Defise, Jean-Marc ULg et al

in Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series (2007, September 01)

The Heliospheric Imager (HI) is part of the SECCHI suite of instruments on-board the two STEREO observatories launched in October 2006. The two HI instruments provide stereographic image pairs of solar ... [more ▼]

The Heliospheric Imager (HI) is part of the SECCHI suite of instruments on-board the two STEREO observatories launched in October 2006. The two HI instruments provide stereographic image pairs of solar coronal plasma and coronal mass ejections (CME) over a field of view ranging from 13 to 330 R[SUB]0[/SUB]. The HI instrument is a combination of two refractive optical systems with a two stage multi-vane baffle system. The key challenge of the instrument design is the rejection of the solar disk light by the front baffle, with total straylight attenuation at the detector level of the order of 10[SUP]-13[/SUP] to 10[SUP]-15[/SUP]. Optical systems and baffles were designed and tested to reach the required rejection. This paper presents the pre-flight optical tests performed under vacuum on the two HI flight models in flight temperature conditions. These tests included an end-to-end straylight verification of the front baffle efficiency, a co-alignment and an optical calibration of the optical systems. A comparison of the theoretical predictions of the instrument response and performance with the calibration results is presented. The instrument in-flight photometric and stray light performance are also presented and compared with the expected results. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst Imaging of Coronal Mass Ejections in the Heliosphere Viewed from Outside the Sun Earth Line
Harrison, Richard A; Davis, Christopher J; Eyles, Christopher J et al

in Solar Physics (2007), 247

We show for the first time images of solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) viewed using the Heliospheric Imager (HI) instrument aboard the NASA STEREO spacecraft. The HI instruments are wide-angle imaging ... [more ▼]

We show for the first time images of solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) viewed using the Heliospheric Imager (HI) instrument aboard the NASA STEREO spacecraft. The HI instruments are wide-angle imaging systems designed to detect CMEs in the heliosphere, in particular, for the first time, observing the propagation of such events along the Sun Earth line, that is, those directed towards Earth. At the time of writing the STEREO spacecraft are still close to the Earth and the full advantage of the HI dual-imaging has yet to be realised. However, even these early results show that despite severe technical challenges in their design and implementation, the HI instruments can successfully detect CMEs in the heliosphere, and this is an extremely important milestone for CME research. For the principal event being analysed here we demonstrate an ability to track a CME from the corona to over 40 degrees. The time altitude history shows a constant speed of ascent over at least the first 50 solar radii and some evidence for deceleration at distances of over 20 degrees. Comparisons of associated coronagraph data and the HI images show that the basic structure of the CME remains clearly intact as it propagates from the corona into the heliosphere. Extracting the CME signal requires a consideration of the F-coronal intensity distribution, which can be identified from the HI data. Thus we present the preliminary results on this measured F-coronal intensity and compare these to the modelled F-corona of Koutchmy and Lamy ( IAU Colloq. 85, 63, 1985). This analysis demonstrates that CME material some two orders of magnitude weaker than the F-corona can be detected; a specific example at 40 solar radii revealed CME intensities as low as 1.7×10[SUP]-14[/SUP] of the solar brightness. These observations herald a new era in CME research as we extend our capability for tracking, in particular, Earth-directed CMEs into the heliosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailMAGRITTE: an instrument suite for the solar atmospheric imaging assembly (AIA) aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory
Rochus, Pierre ULg; Defise, Jean-Marc ULg; Halain, Jean-Philippe ULg et al

in Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series (2004, February 01)

The Solar Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory will characterize the dynamical evolution of the solar plasma from the chromosphere to the corona, and will follow the ... [more ▼]

The Solar Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory will characterize the dynamical evolution of the solar plasma from the chromosphere to the corona, and will follow the connection of plasma dynamics with magnetic activity throughout the solar atmosphere. The AIA consists of 7 high-resolution imaging telescopes in the following spectral bandpasses: 1215Å. Ly-a, 304 Å He II, 629 Å OV, 465 Å Ne VII, 195 Å Fe XII (includes Fe XXIV), 284 Å Fe XV, and 335 Å Fe XVI. The telescopes are grouped by instrumental approach: the MAGRITTE Filtergraphs (R. MAGRITTE, famous 20th Century Belgian Surrealistic Artist), five multilayer EUV channels with bandpasses ranging from 195 to 1216 Å, and the SPECTRE Spectroheliograph with one soft-EUV channel at OV 629 Å. They will be simultaneously operated with a 10-second imaging cadence. These two instruments, the electronic boxes and two redundant Guide Telescopes (GT) constitute the AIA suite. They will be mounted and coaligned on a dedicated common optical bench. The GTs will provide pointing jitter information to the whole SHARPP assembly. This paper presents the selected technologies, the different challenges, the trade-offs to be made in phase A, and the model philosophy. From a scientific viewpoint, the unique combination high temporal and spatial resolutions with the simultaneous multi-channel capability will allow MAGRITTE / SPECTRE to explore new domains in the dynamics of the solar atmosphere, in particular the fast small-scale phenomena. We show how the spectral channels of the different instruments were derived to fulfill the AIA scientific objectives, and we outline how this imager array will address key science issues, like the transition region and coronal waves or flare precursors, in coordination with other SDO experiments. We finally describe the real-time solar monitoring products that will be made available for space-weather forecasting applications. [less ▲]

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