Dr Scullion of Northumbria University (leading on Li-Fi, Data Centre, Modelling, NUPV) and Dr Morgan of Aberystwyth University (leading on Coronagraph Instrument) with lead the management of the project. The structure of the organisation is outlined below.


SULIS is ambitious, yet risk is mitigated through the initial launch of the Earth polar-orbiting pair, followed by the other pairs 1–2 years later. Limiting the initial mission to one pair will test the feasibility of the formation-flying coronagraph. The launch of the remaining CubeSat’s, flying ahead and behind in Earth’s orbit, will lead to the tomographic inversions for reconstructing the elusive 3D coronal magnetic field and CME trajectories, whilst preserving cost effectiveness, i.e. spreading costs over a number of years.

Spectropolarimeter Risk Management: The telescope and spectrographs are modification of existing, proven optical design, and has two moderate risks: i) M1 surface finish may exceed 0.25 nm after the application of the reflective coating. This affects the scattered light performance and sensitivity. With oversampling in both spatial and spectral direction, the risk is mitigated. ii) Currently large-format devices are challenging but we can facilitate smaller format buttable sensors as mitigation.

Coronagraph Spectrometer Risk Management: This instrument is low-risk given current success in eclipse observations. The largest risk is the accuracy of the formation-flying occulter – this is challenging, yet an extremely valuable exercise as stated in SSTL’s statement in section 6.

Financial and Economic Case


Occulting CubeSat instrumentation and associated costs through US partners at IfA University of Hawaii, seeking 20% of total costs (£16.6M) from US agencies. SULIS will be the first UK-led solar space mission, with UK investment at 80% (given the level of UK industry and academic involvement) throughout the project, including 6 years of development and 10 years’ mission lifetime. The expected UK contribution is £66.43M over 16 years (average investment £4.15M/year).