A set of Solar instruments outside COLUMBUS

SOLAR is a combination of instruments designed to monitor the solar radiation as it is received on the earth.


SOLAR is one of the first external payloads of the ISS. Its operations are entirely led from the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy where the operation centre, the B.USOC is located.

Three instruments are deployed::


SOL-ACES : is a far UV monitor from the Fraunhofer-Institut für Physikalische Messtechnik from Freiburg in Germany

SOLSPEC measures the spectral repartition of solar radiation on the UV, the visible and the infrared. This instrument implies the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy and is led by the Service d’Aéronomie of the  CNRS in France.

SOVIM monitors the total energy output of the sun which was formerly known as the solar constant.  This instrument implies the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium and is led by the radiation climate institute of Davos in Switzerland.


Older versions of SOLSPEC and SOVIM flew on various space platforms since the SPACELAB-1 flight of 1983.  They were both present also at the ATLAS-1 flight of Dirk Frimout in 1992 and the existing data series honours both the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy and the Royal Meteorological Institute.

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