Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation (SECCHI)
The Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation (SECCHI) is a five telescope package, which has been developed for the Solar Terrestrial Relation Observatory (STEREO) mission by the Naval Research Laboratory (USA), the Lockheed Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (USA), the Goddard Space Flight Center (USA), the University of Birmingham (UK), the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK), the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (Germany), the Centre Spatiale de Leige (Belgium), the Institut d’Optique (France) and the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (France). SECCHI comprises five telescopes, which together image the solar corona from the solar disk to beyond 1 AU. These telescopes are: an extreme ultraviolet imager (EUVI: 1–1.7 R⊙), two traditional Lyot coronagraphs (COR1: 1.5–4 R⊙ and COR2: 2.5–15 R⊙) and two new designs of heliospheric imagers (HI-1: 15–84 R⊙ and HI-2: 66–318 R⊙). All the instruments use 2048×2048 pixel CCD arrays in a backside-in mode. The EUVI backside surface has been specially processed for EUV sensitivity, while the others have an anti-reflection coating applied. A multi-tasking operating system, running on a PowerPC CPU, receives commands from the spacecraft, controls the instrument operations, acquires the images and compresses them for downlink through the main science channel (at compression factors typically up to 20×) and also through a low bandwidth channel to be used for space weather forecasting (at compression factors up to 200×). An image compression factor of about 10× enable the collection of images at the rate of about one every 2–3 minutes. Identical instruments, except for different sizes of occulters, are included on the STEREO-A and STEREO-B spacecraft.