Solar Orbiter is a joint mission of the European Space Agency and NASA. Its objective is to get close to the Sun at a distance of almost 26 million kilometres to study its atmosphere by observing it with a resolution never before achieved, in order to unlock the secrets of the solar wind. In a little less than two years of travel, Solar Orbiter will make it possible for the first time to observe the poles from latitudes above 30°.
The launch took place perfectly on February 10, 2020. The satellite, which carries 10 instruments, was placed on its trajectory by an American Atlas V launcher fired from the Cape Canaveral base in the United States (watch the launch).
Within the framework of the European consortium EUI (Extreme Ultraviolet Imager), the Charles Fabry Laboratory has produced the mirrors for the Extreme Ultraviolet Telescopes HRI (High Resolution Imager, field of coverage of around 15% of the Sun's surface) and FSI (Full Sun Imager, field equivalent to twice the diameter of the Sun). The substrates were spherically polished, sprayed by ion erosion and then coated with a multi-layer interference coating by magnetron sputtering to effectively reflect the 17.4 nm and 30.4 nm wavelengths.
The laboratory personnel involved in this project, which began in 2008, are :
For the substrate part: Raymond Mercier (in charge), Christian Beurthe, Sophie Coumar, André Guilbaud, Marc Roulliay, Patrick Roth and Frédéric Moron.
For the multilayer interference coating part: Franck Delmotte (responsible), Evgueni Meltchakov, Arnaud Jérôme, Jennifer Rebellato, Christophe Hecquet and Marie-Françoise Ravet-Krill.
For more information :
- P. Rochus, F. Auchere, D. Berghmans, et al, The Solar Orbiter EUI instrument: The Extreme Ultraviolet Imager, to be published in Astronomy&Astrophysics (https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201936663)