Solar-C (EUVST) is the next Japanese solar physics mission to be developed with significant contributions from US and European countries. The mission carries an EUV imaging spectrometer with slit-jaw imaging system called EUVST (EUV High-Throughput Spectroscopic Telescope) as the mission payload, to take a fundamental step towards answering how the plasma universe is created and evolves and how the Sun influences the Earth and other planets in our solar system. In April 2020, ISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science) of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) has made the final down-selection for this mission as the 4th in the series of competitively chosen M-class mission to be launched with an Epsilon launch vehicle in mid 2020s. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has selected this mission concept for Phase A concept study in September 2019 and is in the process leading to final selection. For European countries, the team has (or is in the process of confirming) confirmed endorsement for hardware contributions to the EUVST from the national agencies. A recent update to the mission instrumentation is to add a UV spectral irradiance monitor capability for EUVST calibration and scientific purpose. This presentation provides the latest status of the mission with an overall description of the mission concept emphasizing on key roles of the mission in heliophysics research from mid 2020s.
The Swift mission requires that the Swift UV optical telescope (UVOT) have the autonomous functionality to protect itself against the potentially damaging effects of observing bright sources. This capability had to be added to an existing heritage camera design, which was used for the Optical Monitor telescope (OM) on ESA's XMM-Newton spacecraft. The solution used a two part mechanism employing data from a catalogue of known bright sources, and a real-time system for monitoring the raw pixel data from the camera and automatically reducing the detector gain when a signal above a programmed threshold is seen. This discussion will describe the resulting Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based implementation that sits alongside the heritage camera and processing electronics and can be programmed and monitored by the UVOT instrument controller.
The UV/optical telescope (UVOT) is one of three instruments flying aboard the Swift Gamma-ray Observatory. It is designed to capture the early (~1 minute) UV and optical photons from the afterglow of gamma-ray bursts as well as long term observations of these afterglows. This is accomplished through the use of UV and optical broadband filters and grisms. The UVOT has a modified Ritchey-Chretien design with micro-channel plate intensified charged-coupled device detectors that provide sub-arcsecond imaging. Unlike most UV/optical telescopes the UVOT can operate in a photon-counting mode as well as an imaging mode. We discuss some of the science to be pursued by the UVOT and the overall design of the instrument.
The Swift MIDEX mission is the first-of-its-kind observatory for multi-wavelength transient astronomy. The goal of the mission is to ascertain the origin of gamma-ray bursts and to utilize these bursts to probe the early universe. The Ultra- Violet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) is one of three telescopes flying aboard Swift. The UVOT is a working 'copy' of the Optical Monitor on the X-ray Multi-mirror Mission (XMM- Newton). It is a Ritchey-Chretien telescope with microchannel plate intensified charged-coupled devices (MICs) that provide sub-arcsecond imaging. These MICs are photon counting devices, capable of detecting very low signal levels. When flown above the atmosphere, the UVOT will have the equivalent sensitivity of a 4 m telescope on the ground, reaching a limiting magnitude of 24 for a 1000 second observation in the white light filter. A rotating filter wheel contains sensitive photometric broadband UV and visual filters for determining photometric redshifts. The filter wheel also contains UV and visual grisms for performing low-resolution spectroscopy.