ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - Mission and Projects ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - Mission and Projects


Main Theme Solar Physics
Mission Responsibility Asi
Start-up Date 2007
End of Mission 2015
Current phase E


The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), Ulysses, CLUSTER/Double Star missions are currently progress.  ASI and other Italian scientific institutes have contributed significantly to them in terms of hardware (the Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer of SOHO instrument and the CIS instrument of the CLUSTER/DOUBLE STAR) and the work of analysis, interpretation of data and scientific results.  SOHO, Ulysses and CLUSTER are three very successful missions of the ESA's scientific programme and the mission DOUBLE STAR that integrates with two further missions to CLUSTER, is a joint ESA and Chinese Space Agency programme.  These missions and an analysis programme "GIFINT, Geo-magnetic Indices" falls within the International Living with a Star programme to which the largest space agencies belong. This programme sponsors "enabling sciences" that have implications in applications such as Space Weather.


Scientific Objectives
The primary objective of scientific operations linked to these missions is to test the scientific models currently assumed for understanding the phenomena that characterize the solar corona and interplanetary space.  For SOHO the operations are aimed at gathering data of the UVCS and other space complementary space instruments (during the descent phase of the solar cycel).  Two objectives must be developed for Ulysses: 1) the study of the origins and evojtion of magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence in the polar heliosphere, 2) the study of the properties of polar wind in different phaes of the solar cycle. For Cluster activities cocnern the scientific interpretation of data, closely complementary, using plasma measurements (CIS) and other instruments of CLUSTER and DOUBLE STAR. Finally, for GIFINT operations foresee the development o f prediciton models of geomagnetic operations starting with the conditions of solar wind on the basis of neural network algorithms and for the determination in real time of the status of the ionosphere for the radio propagation in HF.


Italian Contribution

The study is completely Italian and has been funded by ASI.


International Agreements