34th Solar Physics Division Meeting, June 2003
Session 20 Instrumentation
Poster, Wednesday, June 18, 2003, 3:30-5:00pm, Mezzanine

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[20.12] Status of the Synoptic Optical Long-Term Investigations of the Sun (SOLIS) Facility

J. Harvey (NSO), SOLIS Team

SOLIS is a suite of three instruments and a data handling system designed to provide synoptic solar observations for at least two decades. The facility is now commencing initial operations at a temporary observing site in Tucson. After a period of simultaneous observations with the NSO/NASA Kitt Peak spectromagnetograph, SOLIS will be moved to Kitt Peak where it will replace that instrument and the 30-year-old Vacuum Telescope. The SOLIS Vector SpectroMagnetograph (VSM) is a compact, helium-filled, high-throughput, 50-cm aperture telescope and spectrograph that nominally scans the entire solar disk in 15 minutes. It provides the first full-disk photospheric vector magnetograms, high-sensitivity photospheric and chromospheric longitudinal magnetograms, and 1083 nm He I chromospheric spectral maps. The VSM is initially operating with interim cameras that are noisier and slower than originally planned. A 15 cm Full Disk Patrol (FDP) instrument provides full-disk filtergrams captured by 2k x 2k CCD cameras using either a 1083 nm or a tunable (380-660 nm) narrow-band filter. Until it is finished, the tunable filter is temporarily replaced by an H-alpha filter. The VSM and FDP are mounted on separate declination axes attached to a right ascension drive. This allows the FDP to be pointed at the sun center while the VSM scans the solar disk in the declination direction. The final instrument is an Integrated Sunlight Spectrometer (ISS). The ISS is a double-pass spectrograph that produces high-quality spectra for sun-as-a-star studies. It is located in a temperature-controlled room and fed by a fiber-optic image-scrambling system that is mounted on the FDP. Data from all of the instruments is collected by an on-site storage area network and preliminary reduction done by a collection of 14 Linux computers. Archival storage of the data is on LTO tapes and the data products are transmitted to Tucson via a 45 Mbs link where they are kept on line and web-available using a RAID 5 storage system. SOLIS has an open data policy and sufficient unscheduled observing time to accomodate special user programs. SOLIS has been supported by a specific grant from NSF, NSO base funding, NASA/GSFC, and the ONR. The project has also received significant technical assistance from HAO and the Solar and Astrophysics Lab of Lockheed-Martin.


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