Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series
[en] The SWAP telescope (Sun Watcher using Active Pixel System detector and Image Processing) is being developed to be part of the PROBA2 payload, an ESA technological mission to be launched in early 2008. SWAP is directly derived from the concept of the EIT telescope that we developed in the '90s for the SOHO mission. Several major innovations have been introduced in the design of the instrument in order to be compliant with the requirements of the PROBA2 mini-satellite: compactness with a new of-axis optical design, radiation resistance with a new CMOS-APS detector, a very low power electronics, an athermal opto-mechanical system, optimized onboard compression schemes combined with prioritization of collected data, autonomy with automatic triggering of observation and off-pointing procedures in case of Solar event occurrence, ... All these new features result from the low resource requirements (power, mass, telemetry) of the mini-satellite, but also take advantage of the specificities of a modern technological platform, such as quick pointing agility, new powerful on-board processor, Packetwire interface and autonomous operations. These new enhancements will greatly improve the operations of SWAP as a space weather sentinel from a low Earth orbit while the downlink capabilities are limited. This paper summarizes the conceptual design, the development and the qualification of the instrument, the autonomous operations and the expected performances for science exploitation.