BackForwardInstrument:  UVSP 

Instrument details
Acronym UVSP
Full name Ultraviolet Spectrometer and Polarimeter
Purpose Study of UV radiation from the solar atmosphere, in particular from the active regions, flares, prominences, and the active corona
Short description Aplanatic Gregorian telescope followed by an Ebert-Fastie spectrometer, and five photomultiplier detectors. The instrument is sensitive to wavelengths of 117-180 nm (inclusive of the H Lyman-alpha line at 121.6 nm) in second order and up to 360 nm in first order. The instrument is also used for ozone profiling in limb occultation (at platform sunrise and sunset )
Background New development
Scanning Technique Sun pointing from a low-inclination LEO. A scanning mechanism builds up an image of an area on the Sun of up to 256 x 256 arcsec, in steps of as little as 1 arcsec
Resolution Pixels of 730 km x 190,000 km at Sun surface
Coverage / Cycle Sectors of 190,000 km x 190,000 km addressable within the full solar disk at 10 s intervals
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1980 to 1989
Last update: 2017-05-19
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Solar and space environment monitors
  • Solar activity monitor
WIGOS Subcomponents
  • Subcomponent 2
  • Solar magnetograph, solar EUV/X-ray imagery and EUV/X-ray irradiance, both on the Earth-Sun line and off the Earth-Sun line
  • Solar UV spectrometer [from L1, GEO, LEO]
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Solar Lyman-alpha flux
  • Solar Lyman-alpha image
  • Solar UV flux spectrum
  • Solar UV image
Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
Note: * Primary mission objective.
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Solar Lyman-alpha flux*2 - very highNo specific limitation.H-Ly-alpha at 121.6 nm (EUV/UV boundary)
Solar Lyman-alpha image*2 - very highNo specific limitation.H-Ly-alpha at 121.6 nm (EUV/UV boundary), high spatial resolution
Solar UV flux spectrum*1 - primaryNo specific limitation.High spectral resolution, wide dynamic range
Solar UV image*1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Spectrometry with high spatial resolution