Distinct EUV minimum of the solar irradiance (16-40 nm) observed by SolACES spectrometers onboard the International Space Station (ISS) in August/September 2009
In the field of terrestrial climatology the continuous monitoring of the solar irradiance with highest possible accuracy is an important goal. SolACES as a part of the ESA mission SOLAR on the ISS is measuring the short-wavelength solar EUV irradiance from 16150 nm. This data will be made available to the scientific community to investigate the impact of the solar irradiance variability on the Earths climate as well as the thermospheric/ionospheric interactions that are pursued in the TIGER program. Since the successful launch with the shuttle mission STS-122 on February 7th, 2008, SolACES initially recorded the low EUV irradiance during the extended solar activity minimum. Thereafter it has been observing the EUV irradiance during the increasing solar activity with enhanced intensity an d changing spectral composition. SolACES consists of three grazing incidence planar grating spectrometers. In addition there are two three-signal ionisation chambers, each with exchangeable band-pass filters to determine the absolute EUV fluxes repeatedly during the mission. One important problem of space-borne instrumentation recording the solar EUV irradiance is the degradation of the spectrometer sensitivity. The two double ionisation chambers of SolACES, which could be re-filled with three different gases for each recording, allow the recalibration of the efficiencies of the three SolACES spectrometers from time to time.