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Solar Orbiter

Solar Orbiter is a mission dedicated to solar and heliospheric physics. It was selected as the first medium-class mission of ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Programme. The programme outlines key scientific questions which need to be answered about the development of planets and the emergence of life, how the Solar System works, the origins of the Universe, and the fundamental physics at work in the Universe.

Radboud Radio Lab is involved with the Solar Orbiter mission through Dr. Antonio Vecchio (a.vecchio@astro.ru.nl) participating in the development  and exploitation of the radio receiver RPW. He will be participating in the launch campaign in Cape Canaveral, USA.

The radio receiver on Solar Orbiter

The Radio and Plasma Waves (RPW) experiment will measure magnetic and electric fields at high time resolution using three 6 meters antennas and a magnetic search/coil. It will determine the characteristics of electromagnetic and electrostatic waves in the solar wind from almost DC to  about 20 MHz.

Solar Orbiter

The launch

The Solar Orbiter launch information is as follows:

Launch date: 9 February (EST/CET)

Launch window: 9-12 February 2020

Launch site: Cape Canaveral, USA

Launcher: Atlas V 411

Livestream video link: is found in the following links:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-broadcast-solar-orbiter-launch-prelaunch-activities

https://www.ulalaunch.com/missions/atlas-v-solar-orbiter

More information about the mission, system design, science goals, radio receiver can be found in the following links:

https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Solar_Orbiter

https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/solar-orbiter-new/rpw

https://rpw.lesia.obspm.fr

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