The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), the biggest payload that will fly on Aditya L1, the nation's first dedicated scientific mission to study the Sun, has been created by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), marking a significant step in the growth of space astronomy in India.
By the middle of this year, the Indian Space Research Organization is anticipated to launch it. On Thursday at IIA's CREST campus, the VELC payload will be officially presented to ISRO Chairman S Somanath.
An IIA official referred to it as "a milestone in the development of space astronomy in India." The first space-based Indian mission, Aditya L1, will observe the Sun from a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth system's Lagrangian point 1 (L 1).
According to representatives of the Indian Space Research Organisation, this mission will provide a greater advantage for observing solar activities and their impact on space weather because it carries seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere, and the outermost layers of the Sun (the corona) (ISRO).
Of the seven payloads/telescopes that will fly on Aditya L1, VELC, which the IIA created at its CREST (Centre for Research and Education in Science and Technology) complex in Hosakote nearby, is the biggest and one of the most technically difficult.
Aditya-1, a 400 kg class satellite carrying one payload (VELC), was the first name for the space solar project. It was intended to be placed into an 800 km low Earth orbit.
The mission was changed to Aditya-L1, and it would now be put in a halo orbit around the L1, which is 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth towards the Sun. This orbit has the primary benefit of allowing a satellite to continually watch the Sun without any occultation or eclipses.
The Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment, Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer, Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya, High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer, and Magnetometer are the other six payloads.
According to ISRO representatives, "the scientific research by the satellite will improve our existing knowledge of the Solar Corona and also give crucial data for space weather studies." An internally occulted solar coronagraph with concurrent imaging, spectroscopy, and spectro-polarimetry channels near the solar limb is the VELC payload.
The diagnostic characteristics of the solar corona and dynamics, as well as the causes of coronal mass ejections and solar corona magnetic field studies, may all be studied using the spectroscopic and imaging data collected by the VELC payload, according to IIA officials.