For more information about this mission, click on the figure.

Technology Requirements

  • Solar sail propulsion and navigation
  • Autonomous operation
  • Miniaturized instrumentation
  • Real-time solar wind data from 0.95 AU

Societal Benefits

  • Understanding CMEs enables improved space
    weather forecasts
  • Real-time data enables several-hour warning of
    geomagnetic storms
  • Warnings of shock-acclerated particles enable
    occupants of Space Station to take protective
Science Objectives
  • Determine the three-dimensional structure of CMEs
  • Study the evolution of CMEs during their transit from Sun
  • Investigate stream interactions and interplanetary shocks in three-dimensions
  • Investigate particle acceleration by CME-driven shocks and solar wind turbulence

Mission Description

  • Delta launch to L1
  • Three solar-sail spacecraft navigate to stations well inside L1
  • Sentinel spacecraft orbit Sun with a 1-year period and adjustable separation
  • Continuous operation, including real-time solar wind data

Measurement Strategy

  • Solar wind plasma
  • Interplanetary magnetic field
  • Energetic particles
  • Coordinated measuremetns at L1, L4, and L5 would be valuable