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Solar A (Yohkoh)

Solar A [ISAS]

The objective of Solar A or Yohkoh (Japanese for sunbeam) is to study the high-energy radiations from solar flares (hard and soft X-rays and energetic neutrons) as well as quiet structures and pre-flare conditions. The mission is a successor to Hinotori, a previous Japanese spacecraft flown at the previous solar activity maximum in 1981.

Yohkoh is a three-axis stabilized observatory-type satellite in a nearly-circular Earth orbit, carrying four instruments: two imagers and two spectrometers. The spacecraft is a rectangular solid about 2 m square and 4 m long. The imaging instruments have almost full-Sun fields of view, to avoid missing any flares on the visible disk of the Sun. 

  • The hard X-ray telescope (HXT) is a multi-grid synthesis type with a spatial resolution of 7 arcsec, operating in the 20 - 80 keV.range.
  • The soft X-ray telescope uses grazing-incidence optics and achieves 4 arcsec spatial resolution, operating in the 0.1 - 4 keV.range and using 1024 × 1024-pixel CCDs. US solar physicists at Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory are collaborating in the soft X-ray telescope production and data analysis.
  • a wide band spectrometer for X-rays and gamma-rays from 3 20 MeV (also sensitive to neutrons) and
  • a Bragg crystal spectrometer for the X-ray lines Fe XXV, Fe XXVI, Ca XIX, and S XV.

Approximately 50 MB of data are accumulated per day, and stored on an on-board tape recorder with 10.5 Mbyte capacity. The Yohkoh mission is a cooperative mission of Japan, the US, and the United Kingdom.

Nation: Japan
Type / Application: Solar Observatory
Operator: ISAS
Power: 2 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Mass: 390 kg
Orbit: 517 km × 792 km, 31.3
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Solar A (Yohkoh) 1991-062A 30.08.1991 Ka LP-M M-3S-2


Further Solar missions: