A newly developed space weather instrument has passed all checks and is ready to be installed on the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) GOES-U satellite, which is scheduled to launch in 2024.
The Compact Coronagraph (CCOR-1) instrument was shipped to Lockheed Martin in Waterton, Colorado after passing its ‘pre-ship review’ last month. The team at Lockheed Martin will now begin to install this instrument on the GOES-U spacecraft. The CCOR-1 will be NOAA’s first-ever solar coronagraph.
As part of NOAA’s Space Weather Follow-On Program, CCOR-1 was developed at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC, and will reside on GOES-U’s Solar Pointing Platform, along with other space weather monitoring sensors. These include the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) and Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS).
CCOR-1 will monitor the outer layer of the sun’s atmosphere, known as the solar corona, and will help detect and characterize coronal mass ejections (CMEs). These large eruptions from the sun hurl massive clouds of magnetized plasma far into space and are the primary cause of geomagnetic storms, which can cause widespread damage to power grids, satellites, and communication and navigation systems on Earth.
The critical space weather information collected by CCOR-1 will ensure continuity of critical CME imagery to enable the National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Center to issue warnings one to four days before the advent of damaging geomagnetic storm conditions.