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Solar EUV irradiance measurements by the auto-calibrating EUV spectrometers (SolACES) aboard the International Space Station (ISS)

: Schmidtke, G.; Nikutowski, B.; Jacobi, C.; Brunner, R.; Erhardt, C.; Knecht, S.; Scherle, J.; Schlagenhauf, J.


Solar physics 289 (2014), Nr.5, S.1863-1883
ISSN: 0038-0938
ISSN: 1573-093X
Fraunhofer IPM ()
Instrumentation; in-situ calibration; solar EUV irradiance; SolACES; International Space Station (ISS); spectrometer; ionization chamber; photon absorption

SolACES is part of the ESA SOLAR ISS mission that started aboard the shuttle mission STS-122 on 7 February 2008. The instrument has recorded solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) irradiance from 16 to 150 nm during the extended solar activity minimum and the beginning solar cycle 24 with rising solar activity and increasingly changing spectral composition. The SOLAR mission has been extended from a period of 18 months to > 8 years until the end of 2016. SolACES is operating three grazing incidence planar grating spectrometers and two three-current ionization chambers. The latter ones are considered as primary radiometric detector standards. Re-filling the ionization chambers with three different gases repeatedly and using overlapping band-pass filters, the absolute EUV fluxes are derived i n these spectral intervals. This way the serious problem of continuing efficiency changes in space-borne instrumentation is overcome during the mission. Evaluating the three currents of the ionization chambers, the overlapping spectral ranges of the spectrometers and of the filters plus inter-comparing the results from the EUV photon absorption in the gases with different absorption cross sections, there are manifold instrumental possibilities to cross-check the results providing a high degree of reliability to the spectral irradiance derived. During the mission a very strong up-and-down variability of the spectrometric efficiency by orders of magnitude is observed. One of the effects involved is channeltron degradation. However, there are still open questions on other effects contributing to these changes. A survey of the measurements carried out and first results of the solar spectral irradiance (SSI) data are presented. Inter-comparison with EUV data from other space missions shows good agreement such that the international effort has started to elaborate a complete set of EUV-SSI data taking into account all data available from 2008 to 2013.