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26 September 2013 SPICE EUV spectrometer for the Solar Orbiter mission
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SPICE is a high resolution imaging spectrometer operating at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths, 70.4 – 79.0 nm and 97.3 - 104.9 nm. It is a facility instrument on the Solar Orbiter mission. SPICE will address the key science goals of Solar Orbiter by providing the quantitative knowledge of the physical state and composition of the plasmas in the solar atmosphere, in particular investigating the source regions of outflows and ejection processes which link the solar surface and corona to the heliosphere. By observing the intensities of selected spectral lines and line profiles, SPICE will derive temperature, density, flow and composition information for the plasmas in the temperature range from 10,000 K to 10MK. The instrument optics consists of a single-mirror telescope (off-axis paraboloid operating at near-normal incidence), feeding an imaging spectrometer. The spectrometer is also using just one optical element, a Toroidal Variable Line Space grating, which images the entrance slit from the telescope focal plane onto a pair of detector arrays, with a magnification of approximately x5. Each detector consists of a photocathode coated microchannel plate image intensifier, coupled to active-pixel-sensor (APS). Particular features of the instrument needed due to proximity to the Sun include: use of dichroic coating on the mirror to transmit and reject the majority of the solar spectrum, particle-deflector to protect the optics from the solar wind, and use of data compression due to telemetry limitations.
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