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Canadian space agency to study solar wind in new international projects

Solar wind Magnetosphere The Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) mission studies the interaction between the solar wind and the magnetosphere of the earth. (Photo: ESA)


The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will launch its first collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on a new space science project under the solar space – magnetosphere – ionosphere link explorer (SMILE) mission.

The two countries will work with the European Space Agency (ESA) to study the interaction between the solar wind and the earth's magnetosphere.

The project was finalized this week after four years of preparation, including the first study in 2015.

Initially, the Canadian organization was not expected to participate in the mission. What we were considering was our American neighbor, NASA.

But cooperation could not be achieved because US lawmakers passed a bill banning bilateral cooperation between NASA and China.

It is time for Canada to take the opportunity and decide to play an important role in mission.


SMILE's mission is to send satellites into space to understand the phenomenon of space weather and its impact on our planet. The spacecraft will orbit the Earth 125,000 kilometers.

According to CSA, "The weather in the universe can affect the performance of important technologies and services in the universe and the earth and can have a significant economic impact. Severe weather disturbance can interfere with radio and satellite navigation signals and damage electrical infrastructure and satellites It is important to try to understand the weather in order to limit its negative effects. Canada is the largest under Aurora Borealis (Aurora Borealis) It is the most visible manifestation of continental or northern light, space weather. "

To record such a self-storm, the ship will be equipped with four equipment: Two donated by China, one by Europe and Canada, respectively.

Musical instruments have different roles.

When in orbit, SMILE participates in other spaceships that have already collected data from outer space, the outer space that encompasses the solar system where solar winds have a significant impact.

Scientists can record their storms longer and gain new knowledge of the northern lights and the universe weather.

Today, thanks to our ground resources and various satellite equipment, researchers have been able to capture 10 consecutive hours of space weather. With SMILE, we are able to image a complete self-storm for the first time.

Canada's Contribution

UVI devices were promoted by researchers at the University of Calgary and selected from thirteen science proposal pools by ESA and CAS.

"Canada's leading science instrument, Ultra-Violet Imager (UVI), is funded through an innovative business model that raises funds from Canada's CSA, Canadian Innovation Foundation, Alberta's Economic Development Trade and Tourism Department.

"CSA has signed two agreements with the University of Calgary for $ 1.5 million to design Honeywell for $ 11 million and UVI science operations and data centers to design UVI." The role of UVI is essentially a northern hemisphere aurora You can observe at any time for about 40 hours.

"The whole project is to see how the solar wind moves the weather in the universe," says Dr. Eric Donovan, director of UCalgary. Dr. Eric Donovan is a senior researcher of ultraviolet imagers, professor of physics and astronomy, and Auroral Imaging Group.

The mission is expected to begin in 2023 and will last for three to five years.

File usage by CSA, ESA, and University of Calgary


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