Wednesday, February 24, 2010

EVE team prepares for calibration rocket

While the EVE team continues to be busy with instrument commissioning, there is another task at hand that is critical to the success of the EVE instrument. This is preparing the first of five calibration sounding rockets that is set to launch May 5 from White Sands Missile range outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico. This sounding rocket caries an almost exact replica EVE instrument as the satellite version SDO EVE instrument. This sounding rocket, and the four that will follow over the prime SDO mission, will help determine any long-term degradation of the EVE optical system that may occur to help EVE obtain the most accurate measurements possible of the solar irradiance.
The picture shows the EVE calibration rocket in the rocket lab at the University of Colorado. The ESP channel can be seen on the left side, then the black optical cavities for MEGS B, A, and SAM channels continuing from left to right, respectively. Also seen in this payload is the prototype GOES R+ series X-ray Sensor (XRS) on top of the EVE optical package, and the prototype X-ray Photometer System (XPS) below EVE, both of which will help validate the rocket and SDO EVE measurements.