AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 56. Solar Instrumentation
Display, Wednesday, June 5, 2002, 10:00am-7:00pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[56.06] SHARPI: Solar High Angular Resolution Photometric Imager

D. Rabin, J. Davila, D. Content, R. Keski-Kuha (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), S. Michael (U. Maryland)

Observing the lower solar atmosphere with enough linear resolution (< 100 km) to study individual magnetic flux tubes and other features on scales comparable to the photon mean free path remains a challenging and elusive goal. Space-borne instruments based on conventional heavy optics proved to be too expensive, and adaptive optics on the ground made slow progress for many years. Yet, the scientific case for high-resolution imaging and magnetography has only become more compelling over the last ten years.

Today, ground-based adaptive optics is a promising approach for small fields of view at visible wavelengths. Space experiments will need to employ lightweight optics and low-cost platforms. The Sunrise balloon experiment is one example.

We describe a concept for a sounding rocket experiment that will achieve 0.1-arcsecond imaging using a lightweight, ultraprecise 55-cm mirror in the far ultraviolet (160 nm continuum, Lyman alpha, and possibly C IV 155 nm). The f/1.2 parabolic primary mirror is entering the final stages of production. The mirror is a ULE honeycomb design with front and back face sheets. The front sheet will be figured to 6.3 nm rms with microroughness 1 nm or better.

For the initial proof of concept, we describe a no-frills, high-cadence imager aboard a Black Brant sounding rocket.

Development of lightweight UV/EUV optics at Goddard Space Flight Center has been supported by the GSFC Internal Research and Development program.

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