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Solar Physics

, Volume 230, Issue 1–2, pp 7–25 | Cite as

The SORCE Mission

  • Gary RottmanEmail author
Article

Abstract

The Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite carries four scientific instruments that measure the solar radiation at the top of the Earth's atmosphere. The mission is an important flight component of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS), which in turn is the major observational and scientific element of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The scientific objectives of SORCE are to make daily measurements of the total solar irradiance and of spectral solar irradiance from 120 to 2000 nm with additional measurements of the energetic X-rays. Solar radiation provides the dominant energy source for the Earth system and detailed understanding of its variation is essential for atmospheric and climate studies. SORCE was launched on January 25, 2003 and has an expected lifetime through the next solar minimum in about 2007. The spacecraft and all instruments have operated flawlessly during the first 2 years, and this paper provides an overview of the mission and discusses the contributions that SORCE is making to improve understanding of the Sun's influence on the Earth environment.

Keywords

Solar Radiation Detailed Understanding Solar Irradiance Scientific Instrument Solar Minimum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space PhysicsUniversity of ColoradoBoulder

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