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

Instrument PI Country Measurement
Energetic Particle Detector EPD J. Rodríguez‑Pacheco Composition, timing, and distribution functions of energetic particles
Magnetometer MAG T. Horbury High-precision measurements of the heliospheric magnetic field
Radio and Plasma Waves RPW M. Maksimovic Electromagnetic and electrostatic waves in the solar wind, magnetic and electric fields at high temporal resolution
Solar Wind Analyser SWA C. Owen Ion and electron bulk properties (including, density, velocity, and temperature) of the solar wind
Extreme Ultraviolet Imager EUI D. Berghmans High-resolution and full-disk imaging of the solar atmospheric layers above the photosphere
Coronagraph Metis M. Romoli Visible-light and ultraviolet imaging of the solar corona
Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager PHI S. Solanki High-resolution and full-disk measurements of the photospheric vector magnetic field, line-of-sight velocity in the photosphere, and visible-light imaging
Heliospheric Imager SoloHI R. Colaninno Wide-field, visible-light imaging of the solar corona
Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment SPICE European‑led facility EUV spectroscopy of the solar disk and near-Sun corona
Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X‑rays STIX S. Krucker Imaging spectroscopy of solar thermal and non-thermal X-ray emission