Solar wind-Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Link Explorer
Welcome to the Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer, or SMILE, ESA cosmos website. This site is primarily meant to the scientists and engineers composing the SMILE Science Study Team. For general public, ESA and partners webpages about SMILE, please check the "Links" provided on the left hand side of the page.
SMILE is a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) with contribution from the Canadian Space Agency and other Canadian institutions. SMILE aims to build a more complete understanding of the Sun-Earth connection by measuring the solar wind and its dynamic interaction with the magnetosphere.
Science with SMILE (credit: ESA/ATG medialab)
The mission will observe the solar wind interaction with the magnetosphere with its X-ray and ultraviolet cameras (SXI and UVI), gathering simultaneous images and videos of the dayside magnetopause (where Earth's magnetosphere meets the solar wind), the polar cusps (a region in each hemisphere where particles from the solar wind have direct access to Earth's ionosphere), and the auroral oval (the region around each geomagnetic pole where auroras most often occur). SMILE will also gather simultaneously in situ measurements of the solar wind with the two other instruments making up its payload – an ion analyser (LIA) and a magnetometer (MAG). These instruments will monitor the ions in the solar wind and magnetosheath, and detect changes in the local magnetic field.