Imaging Sensors Examine Evolution of Solar Activity and Space Weather

e2v CCD203-82 charge-coupled device sensors
e2v Technologies
Essex, United Kingdom
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Six Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) imaging sensors have been incorporated in NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft, the first of NASA’s Living With a Star (LWS) programs to launch. The LWS programs are designed to study and understand the causes of solar variability and their impact on Earth and near-Earth space. In order to study the Sun on small scales of space and time, and in many wavelengths simultaneously, the SDO has three scientific instruments on board: the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), the EUV Variability Experiment (EVE), and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI).

Four specially processed, back-illuminated CCD203-82 (4k × 4k) sensors that are sensitive to extreme UV wavelengths have been built into four AIA telescopes, which will observe the Sun in the wavelength range of 9.4 nm to 170 nm. The AIA will use solar images taken in multiple wavelengths to study the energetics of the solar atmosphere and its interaction with surface magnetic fields.

Two front-illuminated CCD203-82 (4k × 4k) sensors are being used in the HMI instrument to image the Sun in visible light at 617 nm. The instrument will measure both solar surface magnetic fields and the Sun’s surface motion as a probe of the solar interior.

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