Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Origins of the Patch

I received a request to tell the history of the SDO patch. The patch is derived from the sticker developed early in the mission. Initial designs of the sticker were produced by a graphics designer using an early version of the spacecraft. After a redesign, the spacecraft was replaced with the current version; the sticker was re-issued (see the version at the left) and the patch was designed and released.

We are a solar mission and the Sun is prominently featured in the patch. The Sun is shown coming out of eclipse, which happens periodically from our geosynchronous orbit. The abbreviations for the three instrument teams are placed in the lower border, the NASA acronym is at the lower edge of the central image, while the motto "Our Eye on the Sun" is placed in the upper border. The name of the observatory is the uppermost element in the lower part of the central image.

The motto was generated by members of the SDO Project team working with people from NASA headquarters. It emphasizes the almost 24/7 coverage of the Sun that SDO provides. It calls back to other sayings, such as "Don't Look at the Sun, That Our Job" that we had seen in other solar missions.

SDO is now in its operational orbit and producing the data that lives up to its motto.