All about the Aditya – L1, ISRO’s satellite to study the Sun

New Delhi, August 18, 2018:  Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Aditya-L1 mission, originally named as the Aditya-1 mission, is a satellite designed to study the solar corona (outer layers of the Sun) which is quite similar to NASA’s Parker Solar Probe according to reports published in indiatoday.in

The satellite was conceived as a 400 kg class satellite carrying just one payload, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC).
It was planned to be launched in an 800 km low earth orbit.

But, later, it was realised that a satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point of the Sun-Earth orbit has the advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any obstructions. Therefore, the mission was revised to be called as the Aditya-L1 mission.

The Aditya – L1 will be inserted in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1), which is 1.5 million km from the Earth.

Lagrangian point is a point where the attraction by the Sun and the Earth becomes equal. The point doesn’t experience gravitational force. If you put a satellite there, it won’t get deflected, yet your captured data will be accurate.

Illustration of the L1 point. Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
6. The satellite will perform additional experiments and will also observe the Sun’s Photosphere and the Chromosphere.
7. Aditya – L1 will have six additional payloads.

“With the inclusion of multiple payloads, this project also provides an opportunity to solar scientists from multiple institutions within the country to participate in space-based instrumentation and observations. Thus, the enhanced Aditya-L1 project will enable a comprehensive understanding of the dynamical processes of the sun and address some of the outstanding problems in solar physics,” said ISRO on its website.

WHEN WILL THE ADITYA – L1 BE LAUNCHED?

The Aditya – L1 is set to launch during 2019-2020 timeframe by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL) from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh Aditya, which is the Sanskrit word for ‘sun’ — will be ISRO’s second high-profile space mission after it launched its Mars orbiter in 2013.

ISRO HERE IS A COMPLETE LIST OF PAYLOADS AND THEIR SCIENCE OBJECTIVES:

Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC): To study the diagnostic parameters of solar corona and dynamics and origin of Coronal Mass Ejections (3 visible and 1 Infra-Red channels); magnetic field measurement of solar corona down to tens of Gauss.

Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT): To image the spatially resolved Solar Photosphere and Chromosphere in near Ultraviolet (200-400 nm) and measure solar irradiance variations.

Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX): To study the variation of solar wind properties as well as its distribution and spectral characteristics.

Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA): To understand the composition of solar wind and its energy distribution.

Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS): To monitor the X-ray flares for studying the heating mechanism of the solar corona according to  indiatoday.in

High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS): To observe the dynamic events in the solar corona and provide an estimate of the energy used to accelerate the particles during the eruptive events.

Magnetometer: To measure the magnitude and nature of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field.

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