Remote Sensing: X-ray

Remote Sensing: X-ray

Short-wavelength studies of solar flares and other phenomena

Spectrometers work a bit like cameras—they allow in light energy, split it with a prism, and then use multiple sensors to measure the various resulting wavelengths. These instruments are essential tools for space-based studies, and our institute has extensive experience building, deploying, and operating them.

LASP has built and deployed three generations of its Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) instrument. These are designed to measure the soft x-ray wavelengths, a region of particular interest for observations of solar flares and active solar regions.

The newest MinXSS instrument, called the Dual-zone Aperture X-ray Solar Spectrometer (DAXSS), is currently deployed aboard INSPIRESat-1.

The NASA-funded MinXSS CubeSat launched in late 2015 to study soft X-rays from the sun. There have not yet been long term studies of these soft X-rays, but observations show they provide important clues to understanding what heats the sun's upper atmosphere, called the corona, to a thousand times the temperature of its surface. Credit: LASP