PSP Bibliography


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Solar Probe Plus, mission update

AuthorMorse, Brian; Kinnison, James; Lockwood, Mary; Reynolds, Edward; Fox, Nicola;
KeywordsCarbon; Heating; Instrument testing; Interplanetary flight; magnetic fields; Microwave antennas; NASA; Probes; Solar cell arrays; Solar radiation; Solar wind; Temperature; Parker Engineering
AbstractSolar Probe Plus (SPP) will be the first mission to fly into the low solar corona, revealing how the corona is heated and the solar wind is accelerated, solving two fundamental mysteries that have been top-priority science goals for over five decades. Thanks to an innovative design, emerging technology developments and a significant risk reducing engineering development program these critical goals will soon be achieved. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, is designing and building the Solar Probe Plus mission and managing the project for NASA s Living with a Star Program. The SPP science objectives are: 1) Trace the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the solar corona and solar wind. 2) Determine the structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields at the sources of the solar wind. 3) Explore mechanisms that accelerate and transport energetic particles. SPP will launch no later than 2018, performing 24 orbits over a 7-year duration. The mission design utilizes seven Venus gravity assists to gradually reduce perihelion (Rp) from 35 solar radii (Rs) in the first orbit to <10 Rs for the final three orbits. A 0.6m diameter high gain antenna operates at Ka-band for science data downlink. This allows an average of 122Gbit of data per orbit, including spacecraft housekeeping and margin, to be downlinked for the 24 orbits. The SPP spacecraft is 610kg wet at launch, 3m in height and 2.3m in diameter at the thermal protection system (TPS). At 9.5Rs, the solar intensity is 512 times that at 1AU. SPP is packaged behind the Carbon-Carbon TPS to protect it from this extreme solar environment and allow it to operate at standard spacecraft thermal environments while the TPS experiences temperatures of 1400degC on its sun-facing surface. SPP utilizes actively cooled solar arrays for power generation maintaining the solar cells within required temperature limits. SPP is currently in Phase A with a combined Systems Requirements Review(SRR)/Mission Definition Review (MDR) planned for October 2011. In the fall of 2010 NASA selected the instrument suite for SPP. This paper will describe the Phase A design as it has evolved to incorporate the selected instrument suite and the results of the technology development testing that has completed during Phase A.
Year of Publication2011
Journal62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011
Number of Pages1393-1401
Date Published