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Space Weather and Terrestrial Hazards (SWATH) ACTD (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The Solar Weather and Terrestrial Hazards (SWATH) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) will consist of a coronagraph and normal-incidence x-ray mirror to detect coronal mass ejections by observing the sun in x-ray and EUV wavelengths. SWATH objectives include simultaneous imaging of outer and inner coronal structure and evolution, detection and studies of coronal mass ejections and flares, and an attempt to monitor space debris in size ranges not observable by ground based telescopes.

Description (U):

(U) Space Weather and Terrestrial Hazards (SWATH) is a 180 pound instrument in LEO that consists of a coronagraph, x-ray and extreme ultraviolet imagers to detect cosmic mass ejections (CMEs) and provide a 2-3 days warning of potential adverse effects. SWATH data would go to 50 WS, who would provide notifications to customers.

(U) SWATH would be placed in an 800 km sun-synchronous orbit. An additional feature of SWATH would be that it has the potential to monitor orbital debris in LEO down to sizes of 1 mm; current space surveillance radars can only detect debris down to sizes on the order of 1 cm. Unfortunately, SWATH will only be able to provide statistical information on debris, not ephemerides needed for tracking purposes.

(U) The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Center for Astrophysics, subcontracted the National Solar Observatory (NSO) to build the structure and optical components of an externally-occulted mirror coronagraph to be included as one of three instruments on the USAF-funded Space Weather and Terrestrial Hazards (SWATH) mission. The other two instruments are short wavelength (63 A and 190 A ) normal-incidence imagers. All instruments will use 2048-2 CCDs. Construction of the x-ray and EUV imagers is on hold; the coronagraph was completed.

(U) For SWATH, costs are similar to SMEI as described for the 2-satellite solution. Total costs could come down to $250M with nanosatellite technology, and a Delta launch for both satellites. This second solution would involve interplanetary satellites with a 10-year lifetime; SWATH would have a 5-year lifetime. SWATH would be launched on a Pegasus or Pegasus XL at a cost of approximately $15 million each.

(U) SWATH lost it's Ballistic Missile Defense Office (BMDO) funding and is looking for outside funding. Funds for SWATH were provided by BMDO through PL/SX at Hanscom AFB. Members of the Phillips Lab Solar Research Branch at Sacramento Peak are included on the SWATH science team and helped manage the coronagraph program. SWATH was submitted as a PL NWV project and is an AFSPC Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) candidate.

User Impact (U):

(U) To be supplied.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Concept/Technology.

Images (U):

(U) None.

Related Initiatives (U):
Solar Mass Ejection ImagerSolar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI)
Solar StereoSolar Stereo (NASA/NOAA/AFSPC)
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
Space-Based SensorsSpace Based Sensors
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

(U) None.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Air Force.

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Maj Mike LaPointe, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 325-6422, DSN 221-6422.
(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703)808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 21 November 1997

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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