15 September 2005 MTRAP: the magnetic transition region probe
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Abstract
The Magnetic Transition Region Probe is a space telescope designed to measure the magnetic field at several heights and temperatures in the solar atmosphere, providing observations spanning the chromospheric region where the field is expected to become force free. The primary goal is to provide an early warning system (hours to days) for solar energetic particle events that pose a serious hazard to astronauts in deep space and to understand the source regions of these particles. The required magnetic field data consist of simultaneous circular and linear polarization measurements in several spectral lines over the wavelength range from 150 to 855 nm. Because the observations are photon limited an optical telescope with a large (>18m2) collecting area is required. To keep the heat dissipation problem manageable we have chosen to implement MTRAP with six separate Gregorian telescopes, each with ~ 3 m2 collecting area, that are brought to a common focus. The necessary large field of view (5 × 5 arcmin2) and high angular resolution (0.025 arcsec pixels) require large detector arrays and, because of the requirements on signal to noise (103), pixels with large full well depths to reduce the readout time and improve the temporal resolution. The optical and engineering considerations that have gone into the development of a concept that meets MTRAP's requirements are described.
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J. M. Davis, E. A. West, R. L. Moore, G. A. Gary, K. Kobayashi, J. E. Oberright, D. C. Evans, H. J. Wood, J. L. R. Saba, and D. Alexander "MTRAP: the magnetic transition region probe", Proc. SPIE 5901, Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation, 590112 (15 September 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.614544; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.614544
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