Vault Program

Agency: NRL

SSRC has worked with the NRL team to upgrade their original VAULT payload to the new and improved VAULT 2.0.

The Very high Angular resolution Ultraviolet Telescope (VAULT) sounding rocket payload is a Ly-alpha imaging spectroheliograph own twice successfully (1999, 2002).

The VAULT2.0 instrument has been specifically upgraded to obtain nearly Rayleigh diffraction limited resolution (<0.38 arcseconds) at ultraviolet wavelengths. VAULT2.0 will utilize an excellent optical quality 30cm diameter telescope followed by a zero dispersion spectroheliograph to achieve 0.38 arc-second spatial resolution H Ly alpha images. The solar image is projected onto a high speed, large format CCD camera which uses a 2048×2048 E2V CCD detector.

SSRC personnel have supported the Navy team of scientists and engineers from the VAULT 2.0 proposal through the successful development.

3D Solar EUV Program

Agency: NASA

Known for its ability to investigate phenomena, and develop the tools necessary to improve our understanding of space and its effect on Earth, NASA has selected the Space Systems Research Corporation to lead a team of international scientists to study the solar EUV variability for the three- dimensional heliosphere. The SSRC Principal Investigator (PI) is joined by co-investigators from Interferometrics, Inc. and the Universitsité Paris-Sud.

Solar EUV and UV radiation has a potentially broad impact on [the studies of] planets, comets, and the heliosphere within the solar system. Knowledge of the solar ionizing radiation throughout the heliosphere will greatly aid the understanding of the physical processes that operate in the solar system.

HREP Program

Agency: HREP

HREP is the first NASA mission to the Japanese Experiment Module’s – Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) on the International Space Station.

The HREP Mission, a name which is derived from the combination of the HICO and RAIDS instruments, is designed and built to detect, identify, and quantify coastal geophysical features from the International Space Station. It consists of two instruments: the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) and the Remote Atmospheric and Ionospheric Detection System (RAIDS).

SSRC provided systems engineering and instrument support in the development of the HREP mission, as well as the lead for integration, assembly and test phases. SSRC also led the launch site support team during final checkout and integration to the launch vehicle prior to its launch in September 2009 from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. SSRC was also responsible for the mission assurance and on-orbit checkout. SSRC continues to support the HREP program through the operations lead and operator staffing.

Solar Orbiter (SoloHI) Program

Agency: NRL

The Naval Research Laboratory’s heliospheric imager, or SoloHI, is one of 10 instruments that will be on the European Space Agency’s solar orbiter mission. SoloHI will provide revolutionary measurements to pinpoint solar storms known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs.

Likened by some to solar hurricanes, CMEs travel from 100 to more than 3,000 kilometers per second. Their disruption of communications and power systems on Earth is a serious concern.

The solar orbiter observatory will travel closer to the sun than any other spacecraft and will conduct scienti c investigations ranging from near-sun and out-of-ecliptic measurements to observing the sun and its environment.


Agency: NASA/NRL

SECCHI is a suite of five scientific telescopes that observe the solar corona and inner heliosphere from the surface of the Sun to the orbit of Earth. It ies on STEREO, which is composed of twin NASA spacecraft.

Launched in October of 2006 from the Kennedy Space Center, SECCHI provides data for understanding solar activity, including Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). SECCHI provides data that helps to answer such questions as: How does a CME start? What increases its speed? How does it interact with the heliosphere? How does it cause disturbances in space weather?

Space Systems Research Corporation personnel served as program manager, deputy program manager, and deputy mission operations manager. Working day-to-day with NASA, SSRC’s roles included managing the design, fabrication, integration, testing, and calibration. SSRC also ensured delivery of the program, integrating it with the STEREO spacecraft, and provided launch support and mission operations. In conjunction with its day-to-day operations, SSRC also managed 18 subcontractors and three foreign partners that provided hardware elements and technical support.

SSRC was brought onto SECCHI at a time when cost and schedule issues were impacting the program. SSRC worked with NRL’s SECCHI team and NASA’s STEREO management to restructure the program and move it on to a highly successful mission. Note: SECCHI is named for the Italian astrophysicists Angelo Pietro Secchi (1818-1878) who used photography to record solar eclipses.

GOES Program

Agency: NOAA

GOES, or NOAA’s Geostationery satellite system, works around the clock providing the kind of continuous monitoring necessary for intensive data analysis. It provides constant watch for atmospheric “triggers” for tornadoes, ash oods, hail storms, and hurricanes, and space weather.

Soon after the launch of GOES-N, SSRC led a team of experts to investigate and validate portions of the Post Launch Test (PLT) period data. SSRC used the as-built sensor drawings to create an end-to-end mathematical model of the instrument. Using this model, the team studied the optimal and non-optimal alignments of the sensor. Results were evaluated and algorithms developed to provide data processing corrections and validate the performance of the sensor.

ISS-CREAM payload shipped to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for launch.

August 2015

The ISS-CREAM Payload has been shipped to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for launch.

The ISS-CREAM payload was shipped from GSFC to KSC. This is a major milestone for the project that concludes the long and arduous task of environmental testing at GSFC. The payload development teams will meet the payload at the Space Station Processing Facility for functional checks and a tour of the Space-X integration facility & LC-40. (more…)

SSRC has been selected by NASA to develop next generation Extreme-Untraviolet (EUV) Solar Radiometers for space weather and solar physics applications.

January 2013

SSRC presented NASA with a three-year Instrument and Technology Development (ITD) program to develop miniature EUV solar radiometers and advance the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the existing state of the art. With the successful selection of the SSRC proposal, miniature EUV radiometers based on zone plate technology will be designed, optimized, fabricated, calibrated, and made available for spaceflight applications. (more…)

The Royal Observatory of Belgium selects SSRC

July 2012

SSRC has been selected to investigate the performance and validation of the LYRA instrument onboard the PROBA-2 spacecraft. LYRA (LYman alpha RAdiometer) is an ultraviolet irradiance radiometer that observes the Sun in four passbands, chosen for their relevance to solar physics, aeronomy and space weather. PROBA-2 is the second of ESA’s “PRoject for OnBoard Autonomy” spacecraft.

The goal of the proposed research is to enhance the specification, characterization, and understanding of solar EUV irradiance and its variability as observed by the LYRA instrument.