Overview of the SORCE Mission

Gary Rottman [gary.rottman@lasp.colorado.edu], Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Since the beginning of 2003 the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) has been providing a continuous record of solar irradiance and its variability. These measurements include the total solar irradiance (TSI) and spectral measurements extending from the very energetic soft X-rays, through the ultraviolet and visible, and into the infrared. The four instruments that make these observations represent the present state-of-the-art in radiometric precision and absolute accuracy. Solar irradiance is one of the primary climate system variables, and the SORCE measurements are essential to today’s understanding of climate change.

The spacecraft and instruments continue flawless operation and there is every indication that the five-year nominal mission life will be exceeded, hopefully continuing through the next solar minimum (~2007) and into the ascending phase of solar cycle 24.