MPS Contribution to Sunrise

MPS is the PI institution and coordinates the activities of the international partners within the SUNRISE project. MPS contributes core hardware elements such as the SUNRISE telescope, main parts of the postfocus instrumentation (PFI) including its structure, the light distribution and image stabilisation unit (ISLiD) and the filtergraph (SuFI). MPS is also responsible for the instrument control unit (central computer, ICU) and the data storage systems.

Further information


MPS Scientists

Sami K. Solanki (PI)

Peter Barthol
Sanja Danilovic
Alex Feller
Achim Gandorfer
Laurent Gizon
Johann Hirzberger
Tino Riethmüller
Michiel van Noort

MPS Engineers and Technicians

Melani Bergmann
Bernd Chares
Werner Deutsch
Dietmar Germerott
Bianca Grauf
Klaus Heerlein
Jan Heinrichs
Dennis Hirche
Martin Kolleck
Reinhard Meller
Markus Monecke
Reinhard Müller
Helga Oberländer
Georg Tomasch


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SUNRISE: a balloon-borne Solar Observatory

SUNRISE is a balloon-borne solar observatory dedicated to the investigation of the key processes governing the physics of the magnetic field and the convective plasma flows in the lower solar atmosphere. These processes are crucial for our understanding of the magnetic activity of the Sun and of the outward transport of energy to heat its outer atmosphere and to fuel the eruptions and coronal mass ejections, i.e. phenomena that also affect the Earth system. 

SUNRISE is designed for operation in the stratosphere (at heights around 37 km) in order to avoid the image degradation due to turbulence in the lower terrestrial atmosphere and to gain access to the UV range down to 200 nm. Launched from above the polar circle at solstice conditions, SUNRISE enables an uninterrupted view at the Sun for extended periods of several days. This mission concept ideally combines the advantages of space-borne telescopes – undisturbed observations from above the atmosphere – with the advantages of ground based instrumentation. At a fraction of space mission costs the instrument can be recovered, refurbished or improved and reflown.

The telescope with its aperture of one meter is the largest solar telescope to ever leave the ground. Equipped with inflight alignment and image stabilization it provides near diffraction-limited images for the highest spatial resolution of under 100 km on the solar surface.

Currently, the 3rd flight of Sunrise is being prepared. Sunrise-3 will be launched in June 2021 from ESRANGE (Kiruna, North-Sweden) with a completely new post-focus instrument suite.

The ground trajectory of the second SUNRISE flight, June 12 - 17, 2013
The ground trajectory of the second SUNRISE flight, June 12 - 17, 2013
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