The Helios Faraday Rotation (FR) Experiment, a passive radio science investigation requiring no on‐board hardware other than the existing spacecraft radio subsystem, was designed to study the dynamic and quiescent structure of the magnetic fields and electron density in the solar corona. Measurements of coronal Faraday rotation were derived from the linearly polarized S‐band downlink carrier signal, which probed otherwise inaccessible regions of the corona in the radial range from 2 to 15 solar radii during the regularly recurring solar conjunctions. More than 1250 hours of Helios FR data were recorded over the duration of the Helios 1 (1974–84) and Helios 2 (1976–80) missions. The time scales of FR variations provide information on various physical phenomena: (a) slowly‐varying rise and fall associated with the changing ray path offset, combined with the rotation of the quasi‐static corona; (b) ubiquitous random oscillations with higher fluctuation amplitude at smaller solar offset distances, probably caused by coronal Alfvén waves; (c) occasional nearly discontinous jumps in the polarization angle, most likely caused by transient events such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The Helios FR data, aspects of which have been reported in more than forty publications to date, have now been systematically collected in a data archive for public dissemination. A brief review of the main results of the Helios FR Experiment are presented, together with some suggestions for possible use of the archive for continued solar wind research.
The Helios Faraday Rotation Data Archive
M. K. Bird, H. Volland, G. S. Levy, C. T. Stelzried, B. L. Seidel, A. I. Efimov, V. E. Andreev, L. N. Samoznaev; The Helios Faraday Rotation Data Archive. AIP Conf. Proc. 2 September 2003; 679 (1): 160–163. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.1618566
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