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SWAP – Preparation for Data Exploitation

Research project PX/8/SS/08 (Research action PX)


Persons :

  • Dr.  BERGHMANS David - Royal Observatory of Belgium ()
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2005-31/12/2007
  • Prof.  POEDTS Stefaan - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2005-31/12/2007

Description :

SWAP (Sun Watcher using Active Pixel system detector and image processing) is a solar imager in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) that has been selected to fly in 2006 on the PROBA 2 technological platform, an ESA program. SWAP will use an off-axis Ritchey Chr´etien telescope equipped with an EUV enhanced active pixel sensor detector (coated APS). This type of detector has advantages that promise to
be very profitable for solar EUV imaging. SWAP will provide solar coronal images at a 1 min cadence in a bandpass centered on 17.5 nm. Observations with this specific wavelength allow detecting phenomena, such as solar flares or EIT-waves, associated with the early phase of coronal mass ejections. Image processing software will be developed that automatically detects these phenomena and sends out space
weather warnings. Together with its sister instrument LYRA, also onboard PROBA 2, SWAP will serve as a high performance solar monitoring tool to be used in operational space weather forecasting. The SWAP data will complement the solar observations provided by instruments like SOHO-EIT, and STEREO-SECCHI.

After launch, the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) will be the principal investigator institute. Up till the end of commissioning (assumption 2006/12/31), this project covers the following tasks:

- Scientific support during SWAP development
- SWAP onboard software
- SWAP calibration (*)
- Preparation to SWAP operations (*)
- Data analysis support (*)
- Space weather products
- Independent research (*)
- Scientific community building (*)

The Center for Plasma Astrophysics (CPA) at KULeuven will participate in all tasks labeled with a (*)

Satellite(s) or flight opportunity(ies):

- PROBA-2


Field of research:

Space Sciences: Solar System: solar and plasma physics


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