When NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launched on August 12, 2018 to study the dynamic region close to the sun, the only imaging instrument aboard the spacecraft was developed by SRI.
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission is heading closer to the sun than any other manmade object to study how our sun affects our solar system. The spacecraft carries just four instrument suites to perform its scientific investigations. One of those instruments, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s Wide-Field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR), is the only imaging instrument and contains two coronagraph telescopes incorporating SRI’s active pixel CMOS detectors.
The space-qualified CMOS sensors capture high-resolution images of the sun’s atmosphere (or corona), including coronal mass ejections and solar wind.