Projects of the Department "Sun and Heliosphere"

Projects of the Department "Sun and Heliosphere"

Instrument Projects
Other Projects 
Former Projects


Instrument Projects


Solar Orbiter - mission to the Sun and the inner heliosphere
The Solar Orbiter mission of ESA is planned to be launched in 2020 as part of the Cosmic Vision Program and to provide observational data of the Sun starting 2022. Solar Orbiter aims for investigating the solar atmosphere at various wavelenghts with high spatial and temporal resolution and providing in-situ measurements of the unexplored inner heliosphere. more
Sunrise - a balloon-borne solar observatory
Sunrise is a balloon-borne solar observatory with a 1m telescope that provides from a height of about 35km und thus beyond the disturbing influence of Earth’s atmosphere high-resolution spectro-polarimetric observations of the Sun in order to investigate the magnetic features in the solar atmosphere and their interaction with convective plasma flows. more
PMI: The “Photospheric Magnetic field Imager” for ESA’s Vigil mission
The Photospheric Magnetic field Imager (PMI) is a compact and lightweight vector magnetograph tailored for the use on deep space missions. It strongly builds on the expertise gained in developing  the Solar Orbiter PHI instrument. PMI has been proposed and adopted as one of the key instruments for ESA’s Vigil mission. more
PROBA-3 – A Coronagraph on two Space Probes
PROBA-3 is an ESA technology mission. It is intended to demonstrate for the first time that a coronagraph can be distributed on two space probes, with the probes orbiting the Earth in formation flight. more
The next generation solar physics mission more
STEREO – the observatory of solar-terrestrial relations
STEREO is a NASA mission launched in 2006 that provides for the first time 3D observations of the Sun and the inner heliosphere in order to help unveil the origin, evolution and interplanetary consequences of coronal mass ejections. more
GREGOR - a 1.5m solar telescope on Tenerife
GREGOR is a solar telescope operated since 2012 on Tenerife by a consortium of German institutes (KIS, AIP, MPS). With its aperture of 1.5m it is one of the largest solar telescopes worldwide. GREGOR allows observations of the solar photosphere and chromosphere in the visible and infrared range with an unprecedented quality and resolution. more
Fast Solar Polarimeter (FSP)
Goal of the FSP development is a novel fast solar imaging polarimeter with emphasis on an increased polarimetric accuracy and high spatial resolution. The high frame rate of the newly developed detector allows to "freeze" the disturbances caused by turbulences in the Earth's atmosphere. This is the prerequisite to measure solar magnetic fields with unprecedented accuracy on small spatial scales. more
Microlense Spectrograph
With current solar instrumentation it is impossible to measure the spectra of all pixels over a two-dimensional field of view simultaneously. The new type of spectrograph developed within this project will overcome this limitation by replacing the spectrograph slit by a rotated microlens array. more
SOHO - the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
The joint NASA/ESA spacecraft SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory), launched in 1995, is designed to study the internal structure of the Sun, its extensive outer atmosphere and the origin of the solar wind. The view of the Sun is achieved by operating SOHO from a permanent vantage point 1.5 million kilometers sunward of the Earth in a halo orbit around the L1 Lagrangian point. more


Other Projects


Max-Planck-Princeton Research Center for Plasma Physics
The center fosters collaboration between scientific institutes in both Germany and the USA. By promoting collaboration between astrophysicists and fusion scientists generally, the center aims to accelerate discovery in fundamental areas of plasma physics. more
SOLARNET - Integrating High Resolution Solar Physics
SOLARNET is a European networking activity to develop and coordinate the use of infrastructure devoted to high-resolution solar physics. It involves all pertinent European research institutions, infrastructures, and data repositories. The project achievements will be of principal importance in defining the exploitation of the future 4-meter European Solar Telescope (EST). more
Image of the Sun in yellow hues against a dark background. Magnetic activity is apparent via brightenings across the solar disk as well as mass ejections from the solar limb.

WINSUN - New Windows onto the Sun: Probing the Sun’s magnetic field with an array of new missions and observatories

The project WINSUN will be funded by an ERC Advanced Grant and led by Sami K. Solanki from 2023 till 2028. WINSUN combines a new generation of observational data with computer simulations to provide a comprehensive view of the Sun's magnetic field.
SOLMAG - Solar magnetic field and its influence on solar variability and activity
SOLMAG is funded by an ERC Advanced Grant of Sami K. Solanki. The project will follow an integral approach for understanding the physics underlying the structure and dynamics of the solar magnetic field, combining new observational facilities, novel instruments, the next generation of inversion techniques for data analysis and state-of-the-art MHD simulations. more
Image od the solar surface showing coronal loops, shown in yellow-black color scheme
It is one of the great unsolved mysteries of solar research: How does our star heat its outer atmosphere, the solar corona, to unimaginable temperatures of up to 10 million degrees Celsius? With unprecedented observational data from ESA's Solar Orbiter spacecraft and powerful computer simulations, ERC starting grant awardee Pradeep Chitta intends to bring new momentum to the search for the coronal heating mechanism. more
ROMIC/MUSIC - Modeling and Understanding Solar Irradiance Changes
Overarching goal of ROMIC (Role Of the MIddle atmosphere in Climate) is the investigation of the role of the middle atmosphere in climate. For this important processes in the middle atmosphere will be analyzed in order to understand their relevance for climate. The impact of solar variability is one of the central topics and the focus of the subproject MUSIC (Modeling and Understanding Solar Irradiance Changes). more



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