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The Solar Orbiter System

The Solar Orbiter System

Publication date: 10 November 2005

Authors: A. Lyngvi et al

Journal: IAC
Year: 2005

The Solar Orbiter mission is part of ESA's Cosmic Vision science program. In the last year this mission has been studied in an assessment phase aiming at demonstrating technical feasibility and defining the mission at systems level. The Solar Orbiter will explore the innermost regions of the heliosphere from high heliopsheric latitudes. It will reach a distance of 0.22 AU from the Sun and obtain an inclination of 35 degrees with respect to the Sun's equator. In these areas a series of insitu and remote sensing measurements will be performed, providing first time in-situ measurements of regions so close to the Sun and at the same time provide arcsec resolution imagery. Additionally, the Solar Orbiter will provide the first ever out-of-the-ecliptic imaging and spectroscopic observations of the Sun's poles. Two mission profiles have been studied during the assessment; one utilizing solar electric propulsion and one using chemical propulsion. Both these scenarios will be discussed in this paper and the respective spacecraft design and the current Strawman payload will be presented. The strong link to BepiColombo through reuse of components will be outlined and specific technology development needs for the Solar Orbiter will be described.

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