The PAC2MAN mission: a new tool to understand and predict solar energetic events

An accurate forecast of flare and coronal mass ejection (CME) initiation requires precise measurements of the magnetic energy buildup and release in the active regions of the solar atmosphere. We designed a new space weather mission that performs such measurements using new optical instruments based on the Hanle and Zeeman effects. The mission consists of two satellites, one orbiting the L1 Lagrangian point (Spacecraft Earth, SCE) and the second in heliocentric orbit at 1AU trailing the Earth by 80° (Spacecraft 80, SC80). Optical instruments measure the vector magnetic field in multiple layers of the solar atmosphere. The orbits of the spacecraft allow for a continuous imaging of nearly 73% of the total solar surface. In-situ plasma instruments detect solar wind conditions at 1AU and ahead of our planet. Earth-directed CMEs can be tracked using the stereoscopic view of the spacecraft and the strategic placement of the SC80 satellite. Forecasting of geoeffective space weather events is possible thanks to an accurate surveillance of the magnetic energy buildup in the Sun, an optical tracking through the interplanetary space, and in-situ measurements of the near-Earth environment.


Publication status:
Authors: Amaya, Jorge, Musset, Sophie, Andersson, Viktor, Diercke, Andrea, Höller, Christian, Iliev, Sergiu, Juhász, Lilla, Kiefer, René, Lasagni, Riccardo, Lejosne, Solene, Madi, Mohammad, Rummelhagen, Mirko, Scheucher, Markus, Sorba, Arianna, Thonhofer, Stefan

17 February, 2015
Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate / 5
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