Solar physics with the PAMELA and CSES/LIMADOU missions

Author: R. Sparvoli for the PAMELA and CSES/Limadou collaborations

Affiliation: University of Rome “Tor Vergata”

The instrument PAMELA was launched in space on the 15th of June 2006, and has now reached 10 years of operation. Besides precise measurements of galactic cosmic rays in a wide energy window (100 MeV – 1 TeV), PAMELA has carried out an ambitious program of solar physics.

Solar and heliospheric data collected by PAMELA are of excellent quality. More than 30 SEPs have been recorded and analyzed. Due to the sensitivity of the instrument up to very high energies, PAMELA allows for the first time to put a bridge between in-situ SEP measurements and data coming from Neutron Monitors at ground. PAMELA is able to reconstruct differential spectra and time profiles of SEP particles with high precision in a broad energy interval.

Besides this, during 10 years of activity from a solar minimum to a maximum, PAMELA has studied the modulation of cosmic rays due to the solar activity, reconstructing the time profiles of protons, electrons, positron and helium over the time.
In 2017 PAMELA will be completed in space by a second instrument, sensible to particles of lower energy (3-300 MeV). In fact, a particle detector called HEPD will be hosted by the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES). CSES is the first Chinese satellite for monitoring earthquake-related electromagnetic emission from the ionosphere. It will be launched in a polar low-altitude orbit and will then stay in space for at least 5 years. The Italian side of the CSES mission, called LIMADOU, will continue the PAMELA solar physics program down to lower energies and for the next phase of the solar cycle.