SAMM (Solar Activity MOF Monitor) is a double channel telescope whose goal is to monitor solar activity by measuring the solar magnetic field.
SAMM will produce simultaneaus dopplergrams (velocity field) and magnetograms (magnetic field) at two heights in the solar atmosphere, enabling a tomography of the atmosphere itself. SAMM is an easily installed telescope and posits itself as a prototype for a network of solar telescopes that monitor solar magnetic activity and provide a constant stream of data for Space Weather studies and forecasts.
The heart of each of the two channels of the instrument are Magneto-Optical Filters (MOFs). Each channel is made up of a telescope with an electro-optical unit which observes one of two spectral lines: the Na D1 (589.0 nm), which provides information on the solar atmosphere at a height of ca. 600-700 km; and the K I (769.9 nm), which provides information on the stratum at ca. 300-400 km.
The two telescopes are set on a mount that is installed inside a remote-controlled observatory. SAMM has been conceived as a modular intrument: it is possible to add other channels in the future, to increase the precision of the tomographic reconstruction.
SAMM first light is expected in early 2017.
The SAMM project is a partnership between Dal Sasso srl/Avalon Instruments (based in Aprilia) and INAF-OAR.
Dal Sasso srl/Avalon Instruments has developed and built the remote-controlled observatory and telescope mount with all the control software. Dal Sasso/Avalon also machines the mechanical components.
The OAR personnel involved in the project has developed the instrument concept, provides scientific support and coordination between the partners and suppliers and is developing the control software and the laboratory tests of the components.
OAR personnel involved in the SAMM project: M. Stangalini, R. Speziali, R. Piazzesi, F. Calderini.