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PICARD SOL mission, a ground-based facility for long-term solar radius measurement

Abstract : For the last thirty years, ground time series of the solar radius have shown different variations according to different instruments. The origin of these variations may be found in the observer, the instrument, the atmosphere and the Sun. These time series show inconsistencies and conflicting results, which likely originate from instrumental effects and/or atmospheric effects. A survey of the solar radius was initiated in 1975 by F. Laclare, at the Calern site of the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (OCA). PICARD is an investigation dedicated to the simultaneous measurements of the absolute total and spectral solar irradiance, the solar radius and solar shape, and to the Sun's interior probing by the helioseismology method. The PICARD mission aims to the study of the origin of the solar variability and to the study of the relations between the Sun and the Earth's climate by using modeling. These studies will be based on measurements carried out from orbit and from the ground. PICARD SOL is the ground segment of the PICARD mission to allow a comparison of the solar radius measured in space and on ground. PICARD SOL will enable to understand the influence of the atmosphere on the measured solar radius. The PICARD Sol instrumentation consists of: SODISM II, a replica of SODISM (SOlar Diameter Imager and Surface Mapper), a high resolution imaging telescope, and MISOLFA (Moniteur d'Images SOLaires Franco-Algérien), a seeing monitor. Additional instrumentation consists in a Sun photometer, which measures atmospheric aerosol properties, a pyranometer to measure the solar irradiance, a visible camera, and a weather station. PICARD SOL is operating since March 2011. First results from the PICARD SOL mission are briefly reported in this paper.
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Mustapha Meftah, Abdanour Irbah, T. Corbard, F. Morand, Gérard Thuillier, et al.. PICARD SOL mission, a ground-based facility for long-term solar radius measurement. Proceedings SPIE 8446, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, Jul 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands. pp.844676, ⟨10.1117/12.925712⟩. ⟨hal-00745217⟩

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