Solar Orbiter Payload Studies: Call for Letters of Interest
01 November 2001The Solar Orbiter mission was approved in October 2000 by ESA's Science Programme Committee as a flexi-mission for launch in the 2008-2013 time-frame. ESA intends to set up one or more Working Groups to support studies of instrumentation of the kind envisaged for Solar Orbiter, and now invites members of the scientific community wishing to participate in this activity to submit 'Letters of Interest'. The deadline for receipt of these Letters is 15 December 2001.
During the initial study phase, a representative set of instruments for the mission was defined, together with basic system-level requirements; however, detailed payload studies were not carried out. The current 'strawman' payload comprises two instrument packages: a suite of solar remote-sensing instruments, and a suite of in-situ particles and fields instruments.
Given the technical and financial constraints associated with the Solar Orbiter, it is essential that the final scientific payload (to be selected competitively via an ESA Announcement of Opportunity) be implemented in a highly focused, innovative, and cost-effective manner.
This requires, for example, that key technologies requiring significant development be identified as early as possible. To this end, ESA intends to set up one or more Working Groups comprising members of the scientific community with expertise in instrumentation of the kind envisaged for Solar Orbiter.
ESA therefore invites members of the scientific community to express their interest in this type of activity by responding to this Call, and to provide suggestions on how to tackle and solve the technical problems related to the Solar Orbiter payload. The full text of the Call for Letters of Interest can be read here.
Release of Call for Letters of Interest: 1 November 2001
Letters of Interest due: 15 December 2001
Notification to Working Group members: early 2002
Further information can be obtained from:
R. G. Marsden