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A Constellation of Nanosatellites around the Sun

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A Constellation of Nanosatellites around the Sun

The Sun regularly releases considerable amounts of energy resulting in coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and accelerated particles, which can have a variety of adverse space weather effects at Earth and in the near-Earth environment. A useful means of tracking space weather activity is via solar radio bursts (SRBs) associated with CMEs and solar energetic particle events (SEPs); CME-driven shocks can be tracked via Type II SRBs, while energetic electrons escaping into the heliosphere can be tracked via Type III SRBs.

Currently, there are no operational means to monitor and track SRBs throughout the inner heliosphere. This project proposed a constellation of CubeSats called SURROUND to observe SRBs in order to track CME and SEPs for space weather monitoring. This concept would complement the mission goals of ESA's Solar Orbiter/RPW, NASA Parker Solar Probe/FIELDS and SunRISE missions, among others. Through this work, nine use cases were established and analysed to define operational requirements for a space weather monitoring constellation.

Executive summary