University of Barcelona


Organization: ESA, with strong NASA participation
Launch date: October 2018
Mission length: 7 years (nominal)
Location: Eccentric orbit (moving as close to the Sun as 0.21 AU)
Instrumentation: Solar wind analyzer (SWA), Energetic particle detector (EPD), Magnetometer (MAG), Radio and plasma waves (RPW)

Solar Orbiter is a mission dedicated to solar and heliospheric physics. It was selected as the first medium-class mission of ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Programme. The programme outlines key scientific questions which need to be answered about the development of planets and the emergence of life, how the Solar System works, the origins of the Universe, and the fundamental physics at work in the Universe.

Solar Orbiter will be used to examine how the Sun creates and controls the heliosphere, the vast bubble of charged particles blown by the solar wind into the interstellar medium. The spacecraft will combine in situ and remote sensing observations to gain new information about the solar wind, the heliospheric magnetic field, solar energetic particles, transient interplanetary disturbances and the Sun's magnetic field.

More information: ESA web page

ICCUB Contribution

At the moment ICCUB researchers and engineers are collaborating in the following lines of the Solar Orbiter project: