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SOLAR Mission Centre

Within the general framework of the Columbus mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), BUSOC has, since the launch, been the Facility Responsible Centre (ESA/FRC) for the solar observatory installed on an external pallet of the Columbus module.

An FRC is a centre for operational support to scientists which is given responsibility (by ESA) for a payload on board the International Space Station (ISS). Its functions are concentrated on the systems aspects of the payloads and concern all phases of operations, i.e. pre-mission, in-flight and post-mission activities.

(Image credits ESA - NASA)

Three instruments make up the solar observatory (SOLAR) payload. These three complementary instruments, SOVIM, SOLSPEC and SOLACES, measure with a remarkable degree of accuracy the spectral energy irradiance of the Sun, over virtually the entire spectrum.

These measurements cover 99% of the Sun’s energy irradiance. As well as developing knowledge of solar and stellar physics, the study of solar energy flows (and their variations) passing through the terrestrial atmosphere is of primary importance for atmospheric modelling, atmospheric chemistry and climatology.


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