Spacecraft & scientific payload


The Solar Orbiter spacecraft consists of the following elements:

  • 3-axis stabilized platform based on reaction wheels and using chemical propulsion;
  • solar arrays that can be rotated about their longitudinal axis to manage the cell temperature;
  • articulated high-gain antenna in X-band;
  • heat shield keeping in shadow the spacecraft body.


Scientific payload

InstrumentPICountryMeasurement
Energetic Particle DetectorEPDJ. Rodríguez‑PachecoComposition, timing, and distribution functions of energetic particles
MagnetometerMAGT. HorburyHigh-precision measurements of the heliospheric magnetic field
Radio and Plasma WavesRPWM. MaksimovicElectromagnetic and electrostatic waves in the solar wind, magnetic and electric fields at high temporal resolution
Solar Wind AnalyserSWAC. OwenIon and electron bulk properties (including, density, velocity, and temperature) of the solar wind
Extreme Ultraviolet ImagerEUIP. RochusHigh-resolution and full-disk imaging of the solar atmospheric layers above the photosphere
CoronagraphMetisM. RomoliVisible-light and ultraviolet imaging of the solar corona
Polarimetric and Helioseismic ImagerPHIS. SolankiHigh-resolution and full-disk measurements of the photospheric vector magnetic field, line-of-sight velocity in the photosphere, and visible-light imaging
Heliospheric ImagerSoloHIR. A. HowardWide-field, visible-light imaging of the solar corona
Spectral Imaging of the Coronal EnvironmentSPICEEuropean‑led facilityEUV spectroscopy of the solar disk and near-Sun corona
Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X‑raysSTIXS. KruckerImaging spectroscopy of solar thermal and non-thermal X-ray emission