PLATON Research

 

 

The following text is an excerpt of Annex I of the contract with the European Commission. It is a summary of the scientific objectives of the network, its workplan and the schedule and milestones.

 

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Network Objectives

The project has three major research topics. The objectives of the project for each of the three topics are :

(I) Coronal Heating

  1. The development of in-depth models in realistic 2D and 3D geometries of the main candidates for coronal heating, namely driven magnetic reconnection, dissipation by resonant absorption and phase mixing of MHD waves, MHD turbulence, and nanoflares;
  2. The prediction of the detailed observational characteristics of each of the models and comparison with ground-based measurements (optical and radio) and space observations of coronal holes, coronal loops, x-ray bright points from SOHO, YOHKOH and TRACE;
  3. The modification of solar mechanisms and development of new mechanisms for heating the atmospheres of other stars and accretion discs.

(II) Magnetic Models for Large Flares

  1. To build three-dimensional models for the topological catastrophe or instability that produces the eruption in a major solar flare;
  2. To construct three-dimensional models for the magnetic energy conversion process by magnetic annihilation.
  3. To modify the solar mechanism and build new theories for flaring behaviour in stars and accretion discs.

(III) The Driving of Winds

  1. To build steady three-dimensional models for the driving of the fast solar-wind (from coronal holes);
  2. To build time-dependent impulsive models for the driving of the slow solar wind (largely associated with closed regions)
  3. To apply this expertise to build a new generation of models for winds and jets from rotating stars, stellar objects and accretion discs, in which often there is a feedback onto the accretion and rotation;

 

 

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Work Plan

The joint programme of work will be broken down into the following tasks :

(I) Coronal Heating :

  1. 2D and 3D heating models

    • Heating of coronal holes (Participants involved : USTAN, FOM, KUL, AIP)

    • Heating of loops (Participants involved : USTAN, FOM, KUL, IAC, AIP)

    • Heating of X-ray bright points and small-scale heating (Participants involved: USTAN, IAC, RUB, AIP)

  2. Predict observational characteristics of the models (Participants involved: USTAN, FOM, KUL, ULP, AIP)

  3. Develop models for heating stellar and accretion disk coronae (Participants involved: USTAN, ULP, IAC, FORTH)

 

(II) Magnetic Models for Large Flares

  1. Develop 3D catastrophe models of flares (Participants involved: USTAN, FOM, KUL, AIP)

  2. Develop models for 3D magnetic reconnection (Participants involved: USTAN, ULP, RUB, AIP)

  3. Develop models for flares on stars and accretion disks (Participants involved: USTAN, ULP, IAC, AIP)

 

(III) The Driving of Winds

  1. Develop 3D models of the fast solar wind

    • MHD models (Participants involved: FOM, ULP, AIP, FORTH)

    • Development of semikinetic models (Participants involved: USTAN, RUB)

  2. Develop impulsive models of the slow solar wind (Participants involved: USTAN, KUL, ULP, FORTH)

  3. Develop models of astrophysical winds (Participants involved: USTAN, FOM, KUL, ULP, FORTH)

 

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Schedule and Milestones

The complete project is subdivided in to three phases of about 16 months each. In each phase work will be carried out on each of the three topics, but with a different emphasis concerning the individual tasks. This schedule will be handled in a flexible way to be able to react to new results, changes in the group structures, etc. The following list provides major milestones for each of the three phases.

Phase 1 (Months 1-16)
Heating Detailed models of different coronal heating mechanisms have been built
Flares Realistic 3D models for major solar flares have been built
Winds 3D models for the fast solar wind have been built
Phase 2 (Months 17-32)
Heating The observational characteristics of the models have been used to identify the mechanisms for heating the Solar Corona
Flares Detailed 3D model for solar flare energy release have been generated
Winds The impulsive acceleration of the slow solar wind has been modelled
Phase 3 (Months 33-48)
Heating Heating mechanisms for other stars and accretion disks have been developed
Flares Models for flaring in stars and accretion disks have been built
Winds Mechanisms for winds from stars and accretion disks have been developed

 

At the time of the Mid-Term Review the goals of Phase 1 should have been achieved and Phase 2 should have started. At the time of the final report, all milestones should have been achieved.

 

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