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Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor 1 (on the ISS) (TSIS-1)

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Status: Current, Prime Mission
Mission Category: Earth Systematic Missions Program
Launch Date: December 15, 2017
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Designed Life: December 15, 2022

The Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1), first selected in 1998 for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), re-manifested in 2010 on the NOAA-NASA Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), then the NOAA Polar Free Flyer. TSIS-1 launched December 15, 2017, and is designed to last for five years aboard the International Space Station.

TSIS-1 acquires measurements of total and spectral solar irradiance (TSI and SSI, respectively). TSI is required for establishing Earth’s total energy input while SSI is needed to understand how the atmosphere responds to changes in the sun’s output. Solar irradiance is one of the longest and most fundamental of all climate data records derived from space-based observations.

TSIS-1 provides continuation of the Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) and the Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM), currently flying on the NASA Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE). Launched in 2003, SORCE is now more than six years beyond its prime-mission lifetime. The launch failure of the NASA Glory mission in 2011, coupled with diminished battery capacity on SORCE and delays in the launch of TSIS-1 have put the continuous 38-year TSI record at risk. In 2012, a plan to maintain continuity of the TSI calibration scale between SORCE and TSIS-1 was rapidly implemented through the USAF Space Test Program STPSat-3 that launched in late 2013. The shorter SSI record faces a likely gap between SORCE and TSIS-1.

Highly accurate, stable, and continuous observations of solar irradiance are critical to understanding the present climate epoch and for predicting future climate.

Key Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor 1 (on the ISS) Facts

Mission/Portal Page:
Launch Vehicle: Space X Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule
Altitude:Distance from sea level. 415km
Inclination: 51.6°