AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 65. Advanced Solar Space Missions
Solar, Oral, Wednesday, June 2, 1999, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, Continental Ballroom C

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[65.06] The Advanced Solar Coronal Explorer Mission (ASCE)

J. Kohl, S. Cranmer, L. Gardner, L. Golub, J. Raymond, P. L. Smith, L. Strachan (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), R. Howard, D. Moses, D. Socker, D. Wang (NRL), R.R. Fisher, J. Davila, C. St. Cyr (GSFC), G. Noci (U. of Florence), G. Tondello (U. of Padua)

The Advanced Solar Coronal Explorer (ASCE) mission was selected for a Phase A Concept Study in the current round of proposed MIDEX missions. It addresses three fundamental problems: 1) What physical processes heat coronal holes and drive the fast solar wind? 2) What physical processes heat streamers and drive the slow solar wind? and 3) How are coronal mass ejections (CMEs) heated and accelerated, and what role to they play in the evolution of the solar magnetic field. ASCE has two instruments, the Spectroscopic and Polarimetric Coronagraph (SPC) and the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUVI). A deployable boom supports a distant external occulter that allows large aperture optics for the SPC coronagraphic channels. SPC's EUV channels will provide spectroscopy of the extended solar corona with 30 - 200 times the sensitivity of UVCS/SOHO and the first He II 30.4 nm spectroscopy of the extended corona. SPC's Large Aperture Spectroscopic Coronagraph channel will provide two orders of magnitude improvement in stray light suppression for wide field visible spectroscopy and 2 arcsec resolution elements for imaging and polarimetry. EUVI provides full disk imaging with 0.9 arcsec resolution elements and extremely high cadence. ASCE is designed to determine the thermal, kinetic, and wave energy densities in coronal structures, determine the rates of transformation among these forms of energy, their flow in space, and their loss to radiation, and determine the composition and ionization state of the corona in static and transient conditions.

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