Solar-Stellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment II (SOLSTICE II): Instrument Concept and Design
The Solar-Stellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment II (SOLSTICE II) is one of four experiments launched aboard the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) on 25 January, 2003. Its principal science objectives are to measure solar spectral irradiance from 115 to 320 nm with a spectral resolution of 1 nm, a cadence of 6 h, and an accuracy of 5% and to determine solar variability with a relative accuracy of 0.5% per year during a 5-year long nominal mission. SOLSTICE II meets these objectives using a pair of identical scanning grating monochromators that can measure both solar and stellar irradiance. Instrument radiometric responsivity was calibrated to ∼3% absolute accuracy before launch using the Synchrotron Ultraviolet Radiation Facility (SURF) at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. During orbital operations, SOLSTICE II has been making daily measurements of both the Sun and an ensemble of bright, stable, main-sequence B and A stars. The stellar measurements allow the tracking of changes in instrument responsivity with a relative accuracy of 0.5% per year over the life of the mission. SOLSTICE II is an evolution of the SOLSTICE I instrument that is currently operating on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS). This paper reviews the basic SOLSTICE concept and describes the design, operating modes, and early performance of the SOLSTICE II instrument.
KeywordsField Programmable Gate Array Solar Irradiance Face Sheet Exit Slit Entrance Aperture
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