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Case Study: SOUNDING ROCKETS

Program: CALSO

Agency: ESA/NASA

CALSO, or Calibration and Solar Atmosphere Studies, is a series of sounding rockets designed to measure accurate absolute solar EUV irradiance data in support of the 1994-initiated SOHO mission. It captures data of the solar EUV which is analyzed and interpreted to improve global solar atmospheric models and the understanding of solar variability.

Developed at the University of Southern California, where SSRC’s CEO got his start, USC has conducted a number of sounding rocket underflights to obtain accurate solar EUV measurements with a suite of solar EUV instrumentation. The sounding rocket missions provide the absolute solar EUV data base required for the calibration of the solar instrumentation aboard SOHO. The joint ESA/NASA SOHO mission is aimed at quantitative spectroscopic observation of the sun and its corona, and these measurements are performed at the Sun-Earth L1 Lagrange point.

SSRC played a vital role by designing and developing the payloads which also included the initial concept development, design trades and analyses, payload fabrication, and launch site support throughout the mission.

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