The PICARD Mission

 

Authors:  G. Thuillier and the PICARD team
Affiliation: Service d'Aéronomie du CNRS, France

 

            PICARD is an investigation dedicated to the Sun-climate connection. The mission objectives are the study of the physics of the Sun and the solar forcing on the Earth's climate by modeling. The following measurements from space are: the absolute total and spectral solar irradiance, the diameter and solar limb shape, and solar oscillations to probe the Sun's interior. These measurements obtained all along the mission will allow us to study their variations as a function of the solar activity. As ground-based diameter measurements do not reveal consistent results, a correlative program of ground-based observations will allow us to understand these variations by comparing simultaneous solar diameter measurements from space and from ground. We shall present the design of the instruments and their performances. The today state of development of the mission and instruments will be shown.  In parallel to the space instrumentation development, a climate model including the stratosphere and a solar model are undertaken.

            The observations will be carried out by three instruments placed on board a microsatellite built by Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (France).  The orbit will be sun-synchronous and the launch is foreseen in early 2008.