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SWAP imager

The SWAP telescope (Sun Watcher using Active Pixel System detector and Image Processing) has been developed as part of the PROBA2 payload. SWAP is directly derived from the concept of the EIT telescope that we developed in the ’90s for the SOHO mission.

SWAP provides images of the solar corona at about 17.4 nm, a bandpass that corresponds to a temperature of roughly 1 million degrees, with a cadence of 1 image per 1-2 minutes, and field of view (FOV) of 54 arcmin.

Several major innovations have been introduced in the design of the instrument in order to be compliant with the requirements of the PROBA2 micro-satellite: compactness, with a new off-axis optical design, radiation resistance with a new CMOS-APS detector, a very low power electronics, an athermal opto-mechanical system, optimized onboard compression schemes combined with prioritization of collected data, autonomy with automatic triggering of observation and off-pointing procedures in case of solar event occurrence.

All these new features result from the low resource requirements (power, mass, telemetry) of the mini-satellite, but also take advantage of the specificities of a modern technological platform, such as quick pointing agility, new powerful on-board processor, Packetwire interface, and autonomous operations.

SWAP Schematic

SWAP Schematic

Cartoon of the novel off-axis configuration of the SWAP telescope.
Since the start of the operations, the door has been open permanently.

Instrument Guide

More details on the instrument can be found on the following pages: