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We invite the community to the fifth PUNCH (Polarimeter to UNify the Corona and Heliosphere) Science Meeting (June 20-21, 2024) in Boulder, Colorado. Major science topics include the origin and evolution of the ambient solar wind and turbulence within it and the physics, tracking, and predictability of transient events including CMEs, CIRs, and shocks. Further details including abstract/registration deadlines will be announced soon on this web page and solar/heliospheric newsletters.


The WFI-1 Observatory is now fully integrated! It is the PUNCH fleet leader through environmental testing, which is scheduled to begin this week. On Friday 26-April, the WFI-1 Observatory collected its first science image through the WFI instrument: a team selfie in the Building 299 clean room where PUNCH I&T is proceeding. The image includes the WFI baffle “horizon” (at left, as the Observatory was on its side in the mounting cage), the massive doors into the high bay, one of the other Observatories in the background, and seven team members who were conducting the test. From left to right: Kelly Smith, Jim Foster, Ronnie Killough, Glenn Laurent, Emily Fisher, Brandon Perez, and Tonya Brody, all in cleanroom garb, with another PUNCH spacecraft visible just over Tonya’s shoulder.


The PUNCH PI Craig DeForest and PUNCH Outreach Lead Cherilynn Morrow presented, live at the Cotton Bowl Stadium, the mission and its relevance to solar eclipse viewing and sunwatching across time and space.


After six years in use the PUNCH logo got a makeover in April. The newer rendering is similar to the old, but with some important fixes. The central swoops now reproduce better in more different media. The diffraction spikes on the stars work correctly (all facing the same direction). Additionally, the new render is a scalable SVG file, allowing reproduction on media of all sizes from pop-sockets to Falcon 9 stages.


The PUNCH instrument, spacecraft, and integration teams presented the status of the mission to NASA and the PUNCH Standing Review Board (SRB) on the 27th and 28th of February, in the first SRB meeting since Critical Design Review in 2022. The PUNCH instruments are being integrated to the spacecraft now, in preparation for flight. The Pre-Environmental Review (PER) ensures that all is well before the completed Observatories undergo final testing for flight: vibration, thermal performance in vacuum, etc.


The Southwest Research Institute WFI team have delivered their first flight instrument (WFI-1) to the Integration and Test team for integration onto a flight PUNCH Observatory! WFI is a wide-field heliospheric imager, similar to an externally occulted coronagraph with a linear geometry. It will view a 40° wide field-of-view extending from 4.5° to approximately 45° from the Sun. WFI-1 will be integrated to a PUNCH spacecraft later this winter, in preparation for observatory environmental testing through the spring of 2024. PUNCH is scheduled to launch by early April of 2025.


The topic of this telecon was in-situ/remote-sensing/modeling synergies. Click to go to meeting page with links to presentations.

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