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Chinese Solar Ring Mission
Paolo
post Apr 1 2020, 12:22 PM
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it's the first time I heard of it (and it doesn't look like an April fool)

Concept of the Solar Ring Mission: Overview

QUOTE
The concept of the Solar Ring mission was gradually formed from L5/L4 mission concept, and the proposal of its pre-phase study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China in November 2018 and then by the Strategic Priority Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences in space sciences in May 2019. Solar Ring mission will be the first attempt to routinely monitor and study the Sun and inner heliosphere from a full 360-degree perspective in the ecliptic plane. The current preliminary design of the Solar Ring mission is to deploy six spacecraft, grouped in three pairs, on a sub-AU orbit around the Sun. The two spacecraft in each group are separated by about 30 degrees and every two groups by about 120 degrees. This configuration with necessary science payloads will allow us to establish three unprecedented capabilities: (1) determine the photospheric vector magnetic field with unambiguity, (2) provide 360-degree maps of the Sun and the inner heliosphere routinely, and (3) resolve the solar wind structures at multiple scales and multiple longitudes. With these capabilities, the Solar Ring mission aims to address the origin of solar cycle, the origin of solar eruptions, the origin of solar wind structures and the origin of severe space weather events. The successful accomplishment of the mission will advance our understanding of the star and the space environment that hold our life and enhance our capability of expanding the next new territory of human.
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Paolo
post May 17 2020, 08:27 AM
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another paper on the mission. looks like the Chinese are really studying this

Optimal Stereoscopic Angle for Reconstructing Solar Wind Inhomogeneous Structures

QUOTE
This paper is aimed at finding the best separation angle between spacecraft for the three-dimensional reconstruction of solar-wind inhomogeneous structures by the CORrelation-Aided Reconstruction(CORAR) method. The analysis is based on the dual-point heliospheric observations from the STEREO HI-1 cameras. We produced synthetic HI-1 white-light images containing artificial blob-like structures in different positions in the common field of view of the two HI-1 cameras and reconstruct the structures with CORAR method. The distributions of performance levels of the reconstruction for spacecraft separation of 60∘, 90∘, 120∘ and 150∘ are obtained. It is found that when the separation angle is 120∘, the performance of the reconstruction is the best and the separation angle of 90∘ is the next. A brief discussion of the results are given as well. Based on this study, we suggest the optimal layout scheme of the recently proposed Solar Ring mission, which is designed to routinely observe the Sun and the inner heliosphere from multiple perspectives in the ecliptic plane.
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