AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 76. Advanced Solar Space Missions and Ground-based Instruments
Solar, Display, Wednesday, June 2, 1999, 10:00am-6:30pm, Southeast Exhibit Hall

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[76.13] Solar Polar Imager

D. Moses, K.P. Dere, R.A. Howard, C.M. Korendyke, D.G. Socker, Y.-M. Wang (Naval Research Lab.), B.E. Goldstein, P.E. Liewer (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Observation of the global coronal and magnetic field structure of the Sun requires coronal imaging and magnetograms from a perspective out of the ecliptic. While the upcoming Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) mission will provide a great advance in the understanding of the three-dimensional structure of the corona and interplanetary medium, the orientation of the Sun's large scale magnetic axis of symmetry with the STEREO spacecraft separation defines the limits of this mission. The global structure of the streamer belts, polar coronal holes and coronal plumes all reflect the symmetry of the large scale solar magnetic field.

Observations of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) from the LASCO and EIT instruments on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) indicate the need for synoptic coronal imaging out of the ecliptic (Solar Polar Imager), as well as in stereo pairs in the ecliptic (STEREO), for advancement in the understanding of the origins and consequences of CMEs. The SOHO MDI has shown the need for observations of the evolution of the polar magnetic fields and convection patterns to understand the generation and transport of the solar magnetic fields. Finally, the Ulysses mission has shown the need for polar coronal imaging and magnetograms for understanding the source of the solar wind. Ulysses has demonstrated the need for on-board in situ particles and fields instruments as a link to the remote sensing observations.

Lightweight and compact instrumentation for these observations has already been demonstrated technically. An orbital mission involving a Jupiter assist such as Ulysses is also technically demonstrated, although the duration of the polar observations is limited to the point of degrading the studies of solar cycle evolution. An orbital mission involving a circularized polar orbit is possible with the use of solar-sail propulsion, but this involves technology that has yet to be demonstrated.

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