Encyclopedia Astronautica
2001.07.31 - Koronas-F


Launch delayed from July 25. Koronas-F was a Russian solar observatory that pointed toward Sun within 10 arc-minutes to conduct a variety of observations. In broad categories, it carried X-ray monitors to locate sources within 1 arc-sec, radio receivers to measure flux and polarization, and particle counters.

  • The DIFOS instrument (Investigator: V. N. Oraevsky, IZMIRAN) was to monitor fluctuations in light intensity in six optical bands (350, 500, 650, 850, 1,100, and 1,500 nanometer) at a precision of one part in a million. The analysis was to reveal a spectrum of normal mode seismic oscillations in the Sun.
  • The SORS instrument (Investigators: S.A Pulinets, IZMIRAN, and Z. Kloss, CBK-PAN) was to monitor solar radio bursts of II, III, and IV types, in the range 0.1-30 MHz, with 0.5 microvolt sensitivity and through 400 frequency channels, with a full spectrum enabled in three seconds.
  • The ZENIT instrument (Investigator: V. N. Oraevsky, IZMIRAN) was a coronograph to monitor the corona out to six solar radii in the 750-850 nm band, at a resolution of 1 arc-min. A full scan was done in less than a minute.
  • The SUFR instrument (Investigator: T. V. Kazachevskaya, IAG) was a UV radiometer in the 0.1-130 nm band to capture the full disk emission from the Sun, in the dynamic range 0.1-30 erg/sq-cm/sec.
  • The VUSS instrument (Investigator: A. A. Nousinov, IAG) was designed to monitor the intensity of full-disk, 121.6 nm Lyman-Alpha line in a band of 5 nm width, with a dynamic range of 0.1-30 erg/sq-cm/sec.
  • The DIAGENESS instrument (Investigators: Y. Silvester, CBK-PAN, and S. Boldyrev, IZMIRAN) was to scan the Sun's active regions and flares at five arc-sec resolution in the bands 29.601-33.915, 49.807- 53.721, 61.126-67.335 nm at a temporal resolution of 0.1-10 seconds. It was also to monitor the full disk X-ray emissions in the bands 2-8 keV, and 10-160 keV at a temporal resolution of about one second.
  • The RESIK instrument (Investigator: Y. Silvester, CBK-PAB, and S. Boldyrev, IZMIRAN was a bent crystal X-ray spectrometer to monitor the bands 11.23-12.93, 12.74-14.42, 14.36-16.30, 16.53-20.29, 21.54- 24.45, 24.80-30.43, 33.69-38.79, 38.21-43.26, and 49.60-60.86 nm. The first seven bands pertain, respectively, to emissions from Ar, Mg, Si, S, Ca, Fe, K, Ni, and the last was a continuum.
  • The IRIS experiment (Investigator: Kocharov, PTI) aims to monitor hard X-ray flares in the 2.0-200 keV energy range at temporal resolution of 0.01-2.5 seconds, with a sensitivity of 10 nanoergs/sq-cm/sec. The sensitivity in the 2-15 keV was high enough to capture microflares and precursors in a number of small width channels.
  • The HELIKON instrument (Investigator E. P Mazets, PTI) was to capture high energy X-rays and Gamma rays in the range 10 keV-8 MeV. It carried two detectors, one pointing to the Sun and the other in the anti-solar direction to monitor the energy range in 128 channels, and with 4,096 channels to cover the lower range of 10 keV-1.0 MeV.
  • The SKL instrument (Investigator: S. N. Kuznetsov, NIIYaF-MSU) had three components. The SONG was to measure solar Gamma rays in the 0.03-100 MeV band through a total of 250 channels, the neutrons in the range 3.0-100 MeV through five channels, and electrons in the 11-108 MeV range through six channels. The second component, MKL was to capture protons in the range 1-300 MeV, electrons in the 0.5-12 MeV, protons at >10 MeV, and electrons at >1.3 MeV. The third component, SKI-3 was to ascertain the chemical composition in the Z = 1-10 group in the 1.5-20 MeV ions. It had a channel for 1.5-19 MeV protons.
  • The RES-K instrument (Investigator: I. A. Zhitnik (LPI) was a X-ray spectroheliograph to provide high-resolution images of the solar disk using the emission lines of FeXXIV and FeXXV in the 18.5 -18.7 nm, and the MgXII line in the 84.1-84.3 nm range. Images in the emission lines covering 1800-2050 nm and 2850-3350 nm were to also be obtained by scanning the range in widths of 0.3 nm. The images were to be at a spatial resolution of six arc-sec. Each full-disk image was to be produced in about six seconds.
  • The RPS instrument (Investigator: V.M Pankov, IKI, and Yu. D. Kotov, MEPHI) was an X-ray spectrometer covering the 3-30 keV band in steps of 1.5 keV. The range includes the Fe55 line at 5.9 keV. The detector width was 0.5 sq-cm.
  • The SPR-N instrument (Investigator: I. Sobelman, FIAN, and S. Kuznetsov, NIIYAF) was a X-ray polarimeter to measure nonthermal/synchrotron emissions in solar flares in the energy ranges 20-40, 40-60, and 60-100 keV range at a sensitivity of one microerg/sq-cm/sec.

A similar version of this observatory, Coronas-I (Koronas-I, 1994-014A) was launched in 1994, but its functionality was crippled by orientation control failure a few months after launch. [Some acronyms:- IZMIRAN: Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radiowave Propagation, Russia. CBK-PAN: Space Research Center, Polish Academy of Sciences. IAG: Federov Applied Geophysics Institute. PTI: Ioffe PhysicoTechnical Institute, Russia. NIIYaF-MSU: Skobeltsyn Nuclear Research Institute of Moscow State University. LPI: Lebedev Physics Institute, Russia. IKI: Space Research Institute, Russia. MEPHI: Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute. FIAN: (Probably) Physics Institute, Academy of Sciences.] The sun-synchronous orbit had a period of 94.7 min, apogee 540 km, perigee 499 km, and inclination 82.5 deg.

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