SPP White Paper submitted:

The Solar Probe Plus Ground Based Network

Recent Accomplishments

Solar Probe Plus will employ a combination of in-situ and remote measurements to achieve the mission's primary scientific goals: to determine the structure and dynamics of the Sun’s coronal magnetic field, understand how the solar corona and wind are heated and accelerated, and determine what mechanisms accelerate and transport energetic particles. Details of the mission, science and payload can be found in the Space Science Reviews article The Solar Probe Plus Mission: Humanity’s First Visit to Our Star (Fox et al., 2015)


Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons Investigation (SWEAP), which will specifically count the most abundant particles in the solar wind — electrons, protons and helium ions — and measure their properties. TSWEAP uses two instruments - the Solar Probe Cup (SPC) and the Solar Probe Analyzers (SPAN) - to gather the measurements of the coronal and solar wind plasma needed to meet SPP science objectives.  Principal Investigator: Justin C. Kasper, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Mass.

The Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe Plus (WISPR), a telescope that will make 3-D images of the sun's corona and inner heliosphere. The experiment actually will "see" the solar wind and provide 3-D images of shocks and other structures as they approach and pass the spacecraft. This investigation complements instruments on the spacecraft providing direct measurements by imaging the plasma the other instruments sample. Principal Investigator: Russell Howard, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC

The Electromagnetic Fields Investigation (FIELDS), which will make direct measurements of the shock waves that course through the Sun's atmospheric plasma. FIELDS comprises two fluxgate magnetometers, a search coil magnetometer and five electric antennas measuring electric and magnetic fields and waves, spacecraft floating potential, density fluctuations, and radio emissions. Principal Investigator: Stuart Bale, University of California Space Sciences Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif.

The Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (IS☉IS), , which consists of two instruments that will take an inventory of elements in the Sun's atmosphere using a mass spectrometer to weigh and sort ions in the vicinity of the spacecraft. IS☉IS is composed of two independent instruments (EPI-Hi and EPI-Lo) covering different (and overlapping) energy ranges. This suite will make observations of energetic electrons, protons and heavy ions that are accelerated to high energies (10 s of keV to 100 MeV) in the Sun’s atmosphere and inner heliosphere.. Principal Investigator: David McComas, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio.


April 8, 2015
NASA Gives Green Light for APL to Begin Building Solar Probe Plus

The Solar Probe Plus Mission, which will fly closer to the Sun than any spacecraft has before, reached a major milestone this month when it successfully completed its Critical Design Review (CDR). 
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March 18, 2014
Solar Probe Plus Moves into Advanced Development

Solar Probe Plus has reached a key stage of development, moving ahead with full-scale spacecraft fabrication, assembly, integration and testing.
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Page Last Modified: October 20, 2016