AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 39. Structure and Dynamics of Chromospheres
Display, Tuesday, June 4, 2002, 10:00am-6:30pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[39.02] The Near-Infrared Chromosphere Observatory (NICO)

D. M. Rust, P. N. Bernasconi, B. J. LaBonte, M. K. Georgoulis (JHU/APL), W. Kalkofen (SAO), N. J. Fox (JHU/APL), H. Lin (U. Hawaii)

NICO is a proposed cost-effective platform for determining the magnetic structure and sources of heating for the solar chromosphere. It is a balloon-borne observatory that will use the largest solar telescope flying and very high data rates to map the magnetic fields, velocities, and heating events of the chromosphere and photosphere in unprecedented detail. NICO is based on the Flare Genesis Experiment (FGE), which has pioneered in the application of technologies important to NASA’s flight program. NICO will also introduce new technologies, such as wavefront sensing for monitoring telescope alignment; real-time correlation tracking and high-speed image motion compensation for smear-free imaging; and wide aperture Fabry-Perot filters for extended spectral scanning. The telescope is a classic Cassegrain design with an 80-cm diameter F/1.5 primary mirror made of Ultra-Low-Expansion glass. The telescope structure is graphite-epoxy for lightweight, temperature-insensitive support. The primary and secondary mirror surfaces are coated with silver to reflect more than 97% of the incident solar energy. The secondary is made of single-crystal silicon, which provides excellent thermal conduction from the mirror surface to its mount, with negligible thermal distortion. A third mirror acts as a heat dump. It passes the light from a 15-mm diameter aperture in its center, corresponding to a 322"-diameter circle on the solar surface, while the rest of the solar radiation is reflected back out of the front of the telescope. The telescope supplies the selected segment of the solar image to a polarization and spectral analysis package that operates with an image cadence ~ 1 filtergram/sec. On-board data storage is 3.2 Terabytes. Quick-look images will be sent in near real time to the ground via the TDRSS communications link.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://sd-www.jhuapl.edu/FlareGenesis/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: dave.rust@jhuapl.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.