ESA Voyage 2050

This page contains information on UKSP related white papers that will be submitted to the ESA Voyage 2050 call.

From the ESA Webapge:

The Science Programme of the European Space Agency (ESA) relies on long-term planning of its scientific priorities. The first long-term plan, Horizon 2000, was the result of an exercise started in 1983, and it was followed by an extension, Horizon 2000 Plus, that resulted in the initiation of the Gaia and BepiColombo missions. The successive planning exercise, Cosmic Vision, was started in 2004 and is the current basis against which the content of the Science Programme is set.

Cosmic Vision is the result of a bottom-up process that began with a consultation of the broad scientific community. The plan, which comprises a variety of missions and extends up to 2035, defines the wide-ranging and ambitious scientific questions to be addressed by missions in the ESA Science Programme.

The next planning cycle of the ESA Science Programme, Voyage 2050, is now underway. In keeping with the bottom-up, peer-reviewed nature of the Science Programme, the definition of the next plan relies on open community input and on broad peer review. The community input will be gathered through the Call for White Papers, while the peer review of this input will take place through a two-tiered committee structure, with a Senior Committee of 13 European scientists supported by a number of Topical Teams. Scientists interested in participating in peer review process are invited to respond to the Call for Membership of the Topical Teams.


UKSP-related White Papers

Direct measurements of the magnetic field of the solar corona at high temporal/spatial / spectral resolution

Determining the mechanisms responsible for the heating of the coronal plasma and maintaining and accelerating the solar wind are long standing goals in solar physics. Furthermore, the accurate forecasting of Space Weather conditions at the near-Earth environment and, more generally, the plasma conditions of the solar wind throughout the heliosphere, require detailed knowledge of the magnetic field of the near-Sun corona. Here we present a short case for a space-based imaging spectro-polarimeter coronagraph, which will have the ability to provide synoptic information on the coronal magnetic field environment and provide strict constraints on the mass, energy, and momentum flux through the corona.

If direct measurements of the magnetic field of the corona addresses your science goals, please contact Eamon Scullion (eamon dot scullion at to support the development of this white paper.


Ice Giant Systems Science 

A team of planetary scientists are submitting a white paper on Ice Giant Systems science, aimed at promoting future missions to Uranus and Neptune.  This includes benefits to the heliophysics community of measuring solar wind propagation and effects out at these great distances.  A paper is on arxiv at:  This will be followed by a Royal Society discussion meeting next January (, and all are welcome. For more information contact Dr Leigh Fletcher leigh dot fletcher at


HiRISE – High Resolution Imaging and Spectroscopy Explorer

Recent solar physics missions have shown the definite role of waves and magnetic field deep in the inner corona, at the chromosphere-corona interface, where dramatic and physically dominant changes occur. HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging and Spectroscopy Explorer), the ultimate new generation ultra-high resolution, interferometric and coronagraphic, solar physics mission, addresses these issues and provide the best-ever and most complete solar observatory, capable of ultra-high spatial, spectral and temporal resolution observations of the solar atmosphere, from the photosphere to the corona, and of new insights of the solar interior from the core to the photosphere. A major revolution.
HiRISE, at the L1 Lagrangian point, provides meter class FUV imaging and spectro-imaging, EUV and XUV imaging and spectroscopy, magnetic fields measurements, and ultimate coronagraphy by a remote external occulter (2 satellites in formation flying 280 m apart: coronagraph on chaser satellite). This major and state-of-the-art payload will allow to characterize temperature, densities and velocities in the solar upper chromosphere, transition zone and inner corona with, in particular, 2D very high resolution multi-spectral imaging-spectroscopy, direct coronal magnetic field measurement: a unique set of tools to understand the structure and onset of coronal heating. HiRISE’s objectives are natural complements to the Solar Probe  and Solar Orbiter type missions 
HiRISE will address:
• fine structure of the chromosphere-corona interface by 2D spectroscopy in FUV at very high resolution;
• coronal heating roots in the inner corona by ultimate externally-occulted coronagraphy;
• resolved and global helioseismology thanks to continuity and stability of observing at L1 Lagrange point;
• solar variability and space climate with a global comprehensive view of UV variability as well.
Everyone is welcome to contribute. Please contact Prof Robertus Erdélyi  robertus at for initial query. 


A journey to the polar regions of a star: Exploring the solar poles and the heliosphere from high helio-latitude

 The only mission to date to explore high helio-latitudes was Ulysses, but this mission did not carry remote sensing instrumentation to image the solar polar regions and the heliosphere. However, this White Paper recognises the multifaceted advances in solar and heliospheric physics, and stellar physics that can be made from a high helio-latitude vantage point (above 70 degrees). The solar poles remain largely unexplored yet understanding flows within the polar regions of the Sun is critical for our understanding of the solar cycle. In addition, exploring the nature of the polar regions and the physics of, for example, plumes and coronal holes will provide new insights into the open field regions and the acceleration of the solar wind. Wide-angle coronagraphic and heliospheric imaging from above the Sun will allow a unique global view of mass loss through coronal mass ejection processes as well as the structure and evolution of the corotating interaction region structure, and will provide unique observations of Earth-directed transients. It is envisaged that the goals of this White Paper would be satisfied by a solar sail mission or the use of solar electric propulsion. The project is led by Professor Louise Harra, Director of PMOD, Davos. For more information, in the UK, contact Richard Harrison at Richard dot harrison at