India’s Aditya-L1 Mission: Unlocking Solar Mysteries
1. Introduction to Aditya-L1 Mission
The Aditya-L1 mission is set to unveil the secrets of the Sun using cutting-edge technology, including the Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) developed by the Liquid Propulsion System Centre (LPSC).
2. LAM’s Crucial Role
LPSC’s Liquid Apogee Motor will play a pivotal role in positioning the Aditya spacecraft into the Lagrangian Point 1 (L1) orbit, located approximately 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth.
3. VELC’s Primary Payload
The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) is Aditya-L1’s primary payload, designed to capture and transmit a remarkable 1,440 solar images daily to Earth for analysis.
4. Seven Payloads on VELC
VELC hosts seven payloads, with four dedicated to observing solar light and three for measuring in situ parameters of plasma and magnetic fields.
5. VELC Imaging Channel
Dr. Muthu Priyal, Aditya L1 Project Scientist and Operation Manager for VELC, explains that the imaging channel will provide one image per minute, totaling around 1,440 images every 24 hours.
6. Extended Mission Lifespan
The 190 kg VELC payload is expected to send images for at least five years, the nominal lifespan of the satellite, with the possibility of an extended mission, contingent on fuel consumption.
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7. Expected Data Availability
The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) anticipates the first images to be accessible by February-end, following the satellite’s successful orbital placement in mid-January and comprehensive system tests.
8. Instrument Testing Phases
The rigorous testing process will be conducted instrument by instrument, with the VELC’s shutter set to open in mid-February, marking a critical milestone.
9. LPSC’s Integral Role
The Liquid Propulsion System Centre (LPSC) has been a stalwart supporter of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) since its establishment in 1987, providing essential liquid and cryogenic propulsion systems for PSLV and GSLV rockets.
10. Scientific Objectives of Aditya-L1
Aditya-L1’s primary scientific goals include unraveling the mysteries behind coronal mass ejections, understanding their origin, dynamics, and propagation, and addressing the enigma of coronal heating. The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) is poised to utilize VELC and other payloads on Aditya-L1 to delve into solar astrophysics and its implications for our daily lives.