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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics


Mission Objectives

The primary goal of the NASA Earth Observing Systems (EOS) SOlar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) is to enable solar-terrestrial studies by providing precise daily measurements of the total solar irradiance (TSI) and the solar spectral irradiance (SSI) at wavelengths extending from the ultraviolet to the near infrared. The following lists the SORCE mission objectives:

  1. Successfully operate and obtain data from the SORCE spacecraft for a period of 5 years (6 year goal), and process and analyze all engineering data to insure the health and safety of the spacecraft.
  2. Within 24 hours of data capture, process all science data with the associated instrument and spacecraft engineering data to derive the Level 3 science data products. Calibrate the data for all SORCE channels, converting instrument signals to standard geophysical units (W/m2 or W/m2 /nm).
  3. Characterize the operation of SORCE instruments, analyze and correct the science data as appropriate for changing instrument performance. Provide validated data to the scientific community in a timely fashion, and collaborate with users to ensure that these data are used in an appropriate and conscientious manner, with special emphasis on conveying information of data quality and uncertainty.
  4. Obtain a complete observation set with SORCE on at least ten of the fifteen spacecraft orbits per calendar day. The Level 3 data are 6-hours averages representing the appropriately weighted mean of the orbit-by-orbit measurements. The higher time resolution data are available to meet secondary science objectives, for example, studying the passage of faculae and sunspots across the solar disk.
  5. Validate the SORCE data against other simultaneous space observations (if they are available), against previous spectral irradiance observations, and against our best known models of solar radiation.
  6. Refine and improve our understanding of the instruments and the data they return throughout the development and operation phase of SORCE.