Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

»SolACES« – Farewell after nine years on the ISS

21.03.2017

SolACES, the solar spectrometer developed by Fraunhofer IPM and installed on the ISS, supplied unique measurement data on solar activity for nine years. As the SOLAR research mission has come to an end, the successful experiment was ceremoniously deactivated on 15 February 2017 at the B.USOC control centre in Brussels.

The SolACES solar spectrometer flew to the International Space Station in February 2008 as part of the SOLAR research mission. Its planned lifetime was one and a half years. Yet SolACES reliably supplied data on the sun’s extreme ultraviolet (EUV) spectrum for nine years. Together with other measurement data, the SolACES data today forms the basis for modern climate models.


The SOLAR research mission successfully supplied measurement data on the solar spectrum for a period of nine years – with the help of Fraunhofer IPM’s »SolACES« EUV spectrometer.

ESA – European Space Agency

Perhaps SolACES most important result was furnishing proof that the current solar cycle features a considerably lower energy level for EUV radiation than preceding cycles. If this trend continues and is shown to hold true for other spectral regions as well, it could indicate that a lower temperature rise in our atmosphere due to solar radiation can, at least a little, counteract anticipated major global warming.

One mission – three instruments

The SOLAR research mission comprised three scientific experiments aimed at studying the sun: SOLSPEC from France, the Swiss SOVIM and SolACES from Fraunhofer IPM. These three experiments – each in its own sector – were intended to gather information on the solar spectrum.

Their task was to determine the sun’s total energy input into our climate system and to separate it from the climatic influences resulting from the impact of man. It is only on the basis of these very accurate solar radiation values that we can use modern climate models to clarify how individual climate factors interact and contribute to global warming.

The challenge of space

SolACES was used to measure extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation absorbed by the atmosphere and which thus cannot be measured from Earth. EUV radiation is directly related to solar activity and thus allows us to draw conclusions as regards solar energy input into our climate system.

Measuring the highly variable EUV region is extremely difficult. Consequently, Fraunhofer IPM developed a method which allows correction of spectrometer degradation typical of conditions in space and thus permits highly accurate measurement of the fluctuations in solar radiation.

So this was the first time scientists managed to continuously calibrate EUV spectrometers in space and thus limit measurement error to 10 percent – an accuracy which had not been achieved before. This measuring accuracy was crucial to the European Space Agency’s decision to prolong the experiment’s lifetime twice to a total of nine years. The laboratory is thus the longest running research experiment to have taken place on the ISS.

SolACES sets standards

SOLAR was ceremoniously deactivated on 15 February 2017 at the B.USOC control centre in Brussels, exactly nine years to the day after it commenced operation. There was a lot to celebrate: firstly, the performance of the measuring systems and the measuring method itself had been improved continuously and near-optimised. Secondly, thanks to SOLAR, climate research now has a dataset on solar activity whose quantity and quality are unparalleled.

This is why the measurements are to continue: a new measuring concept is to be developed for this in cooperation with the renowned World Radiation Centre in Davos. This concept involves combining SolACES spectrometers with highly precise Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) detectors and thus allowing the established SolACES measuring method to be utilised for the entire spectral region.

Weitere Informationen:

https://livestream.com/ESA/solar Video showing deactivation of SOLAR at the B.USOC control centre on 15 February 2017

Holger Kock | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Colorado River's connection with the ocean was a punctuated affair
16.11.2017 | University of Oregon

nachricht Researchers create largest, longest multiphysics earthquake simulation to date
14.11.2017 | Gauss Centre for Supercomputing

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>