Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series
[en] solar corona ; space weather ; EUV optics
[en] SWAP (Sun Watcher using Active Pixel System detector and Image Processing) is an instrument that has been selected to fly on the PROBA-II technology demonstration platform, a program of the European Space Agency (ESA) to be launched in 2006. This paper presents the instrument concept and its scientific goals. SWAP uses an off-axis Ritchey Chretien telescope that will image the EUV solar corona at 19.5 nm on a specifically fabricated extreme ultraviolet (EUV) sensitivity enhanced CMOS APS detector. This type of detector has advantages that promise to be very profitable for solar EUV imaging. The SWAP design is built on a similar concept as the MAGRITTE instrument suite for the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) mission to be launched in 2007. The optics have been adapted to the detector size. The SWAP PROBA-2 program will be an opportunity to demonstrate and validate the optical concept of MAGRITTE, while it will also validate space remote sensing with APS detectors. On the science outcomes, SWAP will provide solar corona images in the Fe XII line on a baselined 1-min cadence. Observations with this specific wavelength allow detecting phenomena, such as solar flares or 'EIT-waves", associated with the early phase of coronal mass ejections. Image recognition software will be developed that automatically detects these phenomena and sends out space weather warnings. Different modules of this software will run both on the ground system as well as on the onboard computer of PROBA II. The SWAP data will complement the observations provided by SOHO-EIT, and STEREO-SECCHI.