SMILE: a joint ESA/CAS mission to investigate the interaction between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere

Raab, Walfried; Branduardi-Raymont, Graziella; Dai, Lei; Wang, Chi; Donovan, Eric; Enno, Greg; Escoubet, Philippe; Holland, Andrew; Jing, Li; Kataria, Dhiren; Li, Lei; Read, Andy; Rebuffat, Denis; Romstedt, Jens; Runciman, Chris; Sembay, Steve; Spanswick, Emma; Sykes, Jon; Thornhill, Julian; Wielders, Arno; Zhang, Aibing and Zheng, Jianhua (2016). SMILE: a joint ESA/CAS mission to investigate the interaction between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere. In: Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, p. 990502.



The Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) is a collaborative science mission between ESA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). SMILE is a novel self-standing mission to observe the coupling of the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere via X-Ray imaging of the solar wind -- magnetosphere interaction zones, UV imaging of global auroral distributions and simultaneous in-situ solar wind, magnetosheath plasma and magnetic field measurements. The SMILE mission proposal was submitted by a consortium of European, Chinese and Canadian scientists following a joint call for mission by ESA and CAS. It was formally selected by ESA's Science Programme Committee (SPC) as an element of the ESA Science Program in November 2015, with the goal of a launch at the end of 2021.
In order to achieve its scientific objectives, the SMILE payload will comprise four instruments: the Soft X-ray Imager (SXI), which will spectrally map the Earth's magnetopause, magnetosheath and magnetospheric cusps; the UltraViolet Imager (UVI), dedicated to imaging the auroral regions; the Light Ion Analyser (LIA) and the MAGnetometer (MAG), which will establish the solar wind properties simultaneously with the imaging instruments. We report on the status of the mission and payload developments and the findings of a design study carried out in parallel at the concurrent design facilities (CDF) of ESA and CAS in October/November 2015.

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