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The Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager for Solar Orbiter: SO/PHI

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 July 2015

Sami K. Solanki
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, D-37077, Göttingen, Germany email: solanki@mps.mpg.de
Jose Carlos del Toro Iniesta
Affiliation:
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Apdo. de Correos 3004, E-18080 Granada, Spain
Joachim Woch
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, D-37077, Göttingen, Germany email: solanki@mps.mpg.de
Achim Gandorfer
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, D-37077, Göttingen, Germany email: solanki@mps.mpg.de
Johann Hirzberger
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, D-37077, Göttingen, Germany email: solanki@mps.mpg.de
Wolfgang Schmidt
Affiliation:
Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Schöneckstr. 6, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany
Thierry Appourchaux
Affiliation:
Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Université Paris Sud, Bâtiment 121, F-91405, Orsay, France
Alberto Alvarez-Herrero
Affiliation:
Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial, Carretera de Ajalvir, km. 4, E-28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Spain
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

The Solar Orbiter is the next solar physics mission of the European Space Agency, ESA, in collaboration with NASA, with a launch planned in 2018. The spacecraft is designed to approach the Sun to within 0.28 AU at perihelion of a highly eccentric orbit. The proximity with the Sun will also allow its observation at uniformly high resolution at EUV and visible wavelengths. Such observations are central for learning more about the magnetic coupling of the solar atmosphere. At a later phase in the mission the spacecraft will leave the ecliptic and study the enigmatic poles of the Sun from a heliographic latitude of up to 33○.

A central instrument of Solar Orbiter} is the Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager, SO/PHI. It will do full Stokes imaging in the Landé g = 2.5 Fe I 617.3 nm line. It is composed of two telescopes, a full-disk telescope and a high-resolution telescope, that will allow observations at a resolution as high as 200 km on the solar surface. SO/PHI will also be the first solar polarimeter to leave the Sun-Earth line, opening up new possibilities, such as stereoscopic polarimetry (besides stereoscopic imaging of the photosphere and stereoscopic helioseismology). Finally, SO/PHI will have a unique view of the solar poles, allowing not just more precise and exact measurements of the polar field than possible so far, but also enabling us to follow the dynamics of individual magnetic features at high latitudes and to determine solar surface and sub-surface flows right up to the poles.

In this paper an introduction to the science goals and the capabilities of SO/PHI will be given, as well as a brief overview of the instrument and of the current status of its development.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2015 

References

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