Aditya-L1 mission's solar wind ion spectrometer becomes operational, says ISRO

Aditya-L1 mission
# 02 December 2023 13:10 (UTC +04:00)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday said that the Solar Wind Ion Spectrometer (SWIS), the second component of the Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) within its inaugural solar mission, Aditya L1, has become operational, APA reports citing Mint.

"The Solar Wind Ion Spectrometer (SWIS), the second instrument in the Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) payload is operational. The histogram illustrates the energy variations in proton and alpha particle counts captured by SWIS over 2-days," ISRO said in a post on X.

As per a statement issued by ISRO, the Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) payload onboard India's Aditya-L1 satellite is performing normally.

The release further noted that ASPEX comprises two cutting-edge instruments - the Solar wind Ion Spectrometer (SWIS) and STEPS (SupraThermal and Energetic Particle Spectrometer). “The STEPS instrument became operational on September 10, 2023. The SWIS instrument was activated on November 2, 2023, and has exhibited optimal performance," the statement mentioned.

ISRO said that the ASPEX has begun its measurements of solar wind ions.

"SWIS, utilizing two sensor units with a remarkable 360° field of view each, operates in planes perpendicular to one another. The instrument has successfully measured solar wind ions, primarily protons and alpha particles," the statement said.

The directional capabilities of SWIS enable precise measurements of solar wind protons and alphas, contributing significantly to addressing longstanding questions about solar wind properties, underlying processes, and their impact on Earth, ISRO said.

The statement added that as researchers delve deeper into the collected data, the international scientific community eagerly awaits the wealth of knowledge that Aditya-L1's ASPEX is set to unveil about the enigmatic solar wind and its implications for our planet.

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