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The Naval Research Laboratory team has completed integration and test of the PUNCH Narrow Field Imager (NFI), and delivered the instrument to SwRI for integration into the PUNCH Observatories! NFI is an externally occulted coronagraph based on NRL’s CCOR design. it covers the central part of the PUNCH field of view, from approximately 5 to 32 solar radii from the Sun itself. NFI will be the first primary instrument integrated to a PUNCH Observatory, in late calendar year 2023, and will fly with the rest of PUNCH when the mission launches (est. April 2025).


The Colorado Space Grant Consortium successfully delivered its student collaboration instrument, the STudent Energetic Activity Monitor (STEAM), for integration into the PUNCH OBservatories! STEAM is a soft X-ray spectrometer build around a solid state detector, with a small microprocessor to interface with the spacecraft. STEAM will view the Sun as a star, and probe the energetics of solar falres and coronal heating throughout the PUNCH mission. STEAM will be integrated onto the Narrow Field imager (NFI) Observatory and fly with NFI when the mission launches (est. April 2025).


The fourth PUNCH (Polarimeter to UNify the Corona and Heliosphere) Science Meeting was successfully held in the summer of 2023 in Boulder, CO. We solicited abstracts for poster/oral presentations from the community on subjects related to this topic. Click to go to meeting page with links to presentations and posters.


The topic of this telecon was synergies with other missions/projects. Click to go to meeting page with links to presentations.


The team of STEM professionals carrying out the outreach program for the PUNCH mission convened its first, in-person Annual Retreat of ~30 core team members, collaborators, advisors, and other partners during the last week of September 2022. The COVID pandemic had prevented the PUNCH outreach team from meeting in person last year after NASA approved our mission-embedded outreach proposal in January 2021. This year’s gathering joined diverse collaborators who had been working together remotely on PUNCH Outreach since the Spring of 2020.


The third PUNCH (Polarimeter to UNify the Corona and Heliosphere) Science Meeting was on August 12th, 2022. Attendance was high and the attendees were highly engaged. Major science topics included the origin and evolution of the ambient solar wind and turbulence within it, mission outreach, and the physics, tracking, and predictability of transient events including CMEs, CIRs, and shocks.


PUNCH has passed its Critical Design Review, a major milestone in the course of the mission. The three-day design review was a hybrid meeting, held in person at SwRI headquarters in San Antonio, TX, March 1-3. The team presented current mission design, and fabrication, integration, and test plans, to representatives from NASA and from the mission’s independent Standing Review Board. This was the first mission milestone meeting to be held in-person, since the initial Phase B kickoff meeting held in 2019 immediately after selection.

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