SUNRISE observatory: Gondola, Telescope, Infrastructure

SUNRISE observatory: Gondola, Telescope, Infrastructure

Similar to a ground based observatory, SUNRISE III contains the complete infrastructure necessary to perform state-of-the art solar observations. The gondola provides the stable platform for pointing the telescope to the sun for 24h per day, the telescope with its 1-m main mirror delivers the high-resolution solar images, the image stabilization and light distribution unit (ISLiD) corrects for residual image motion and distributes the light to the three science instruments. The onboard computer (instrument control system, ICS) is the brain of the observatory, controlling and supervising all its functions, and storing the scientific and housekeeping data on the on-board data storage system. In addition, the communication system allows for real-time commanding of the observatory from the ground station in Kiriuna (Sweden) and sends down thumbnail images to evaluate its performance during the flight.  


The gondola provides all the infrastructure necessary for the telescope and its post-focus instrumentation. Momentum wheels compensate for the pendulum motions of the gondola, communication devices allow for real-time commanding and data transmission during the flight. Attached to the balloon via a parachute it guarantees stable observing conditions and a safe landing of the scientific payload.


Image Stabilization and Light Distribution Unit (MPS)

The 1 meter telescope produces rthe high resolution image of the Sun at all wavelengths. This light must be distributed to the various scientific instruments without loss of image quality.


Correlation Tracker and Wavefront Sensor (KIS)

Sunrise III requires an extremely high pointing stability: the residual image motion must be better than 1/10 of a detector pixel over the time period of the planned science observations (several hours). This stability corresponds to fixing an object of 1 cm2 in size on the space station observed from ground.


Instrument Control Unit and Data Storage System (MPS)

The ICS is the brain of the observatory: It receives from the ground to control all the instruments and the telescope, but also can operate the observatory completely autonomously. It monitors all the housekeeping values and perform the required actions. It stores all scientific data on 48 SSDs with a total capacity of 320 TByte.
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