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The Solar Particle Acceleration Radiation and Kinetics (SPARK) Mission Concept

Reid, Hamish A. S.; Musset, Sophie; Ryan, Daniel F.; Andretta, Vincenzo; Auchère, Frédéric; Baker, Deborah; Benvenuto, Federico; Browning, Philippa; Buchlin, Éric; Calcines Rosario, Ariadna; Christe, Steven D.; Corso, Alain Jody; Dahlin, Joel; Dalla, Silvia; Del Zanna, Giulio; Denker, Carsten; Dudík, Jaroslav; Erdélyi, Robertus; Ermolli, Ilaria; Fletcher, Lyndsay; Fludra, Andrzej; Green, Lucie M.; Gordovskyy, Mykola; Guglielmino, Salvo L.; Hannah, Iain; Harrison, Richard; Hayes, Laura A.; Inglis, Andrew R.; Jeffrey, Natasha L. S.; Kašparová, Jana; Kerr, Graham S.; Kintziger, Christian; Kontar, Eduard P.; Krucker, Säm; Laitinen, Timo; Laurent, Philippe; Limousin, Olivier; Long, David M.; Maloney, Shane A.; Massa, Paolo; Massone, Anna Maria; Matthews, Sarah; Mrozek, Tomasz; Nakariakov, Valery M.; Parenti, Susanna; Piana, Michele; Polito, Vanessa; Pesce-Rollins, Melissa; Romano, Paolo; Rouillard, Alexis P.; Sasso, Clementina; Shih, Albert Y.; Stęślicki, Marek; Orozco Suárez, David; Teriac...

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Hamish A. S. Reid

Sophie Musset

Daniel F. Ryan

Vincenzo Andretta

Frédéric Auchère

Deborah Baker

Federico Benvenuto

Philippa Browning

Éric Buchlin

Steven D. Christe

Alain Jody Corso

Joel Dahlin

Silvia Dalla

Giulio Del Zanna

Carsten Denker

Jaroslav Dudík

Robertus Erdélyi

Ilaria Ermolli

Lyndsay Fletcher

Andrzej Fludra

Lucie M. Green

Mykola Gordovskyy

Salvo L. Guglielmino

Iain Hannah

Richard Harrison

Laura A. Hayes

Andrew R. Inglis

Natasha L. S. Jeffrey

Jana Kašparová

Graham S. Kerr

Christian Kintziger

Eduard P. Kontar

Säm Krucker

Timo Laitinen

Philippe Laurent

Olivier Limousin

David M. Long

Shane A. Maloney

Paolo Massa

Anna Maria Massone

Sarah Matthews

Tomasz Mrozek

Valery M. Nakariakov

Susanna Parenti

Michele Piana

Vanessa Polito

Melissa Pesce-Rollins

Paolo Romano

Alexis P. Rouillard

Clementina Sasso

Albert Y. Shih

Marek Stęślicki

David Orozco Suárez

Luca Teriaca

Meetu Verma

Astrid M. Veronig

Nicole Vilmer

Christian Vocks

Alexander Warmuth


Paolo Tortora


Particle acceleration is a fundamental process arising in many astrophysical objects, including active galactic nuclei, black holes, neutron stars, gamma-ray bursts, accretion disks, solar and stellar coronae, and planetary magnetospheres. Its ubiquity means energetic particles permeate the Universe and influence the conditions for the emergence and continuation of life. In our solar system, the Sun is the most energetic particle accelerator, and its proximity makes it a unique laboratory in which to explore astrophysical particle acceleration. However, despite its importance, the physics underlying solar particle acceleration remain poorly understood. The SPARK mission will reveal new discoveries about particle acceleration through a uniquely powerful and complete combination of γ-ray, X-ray, and EUV imaging and spectroscopy at high spectral, spatial, and temporal resolutions. SPARK’s instruments will provide a step change in observational capability, enabling fundamental breakthroughs in our understanding of solar particle acceleration and the phenomena associated with it, such as the evolution of solar eruptive events. By providing essential diagnostics of the processes that drive the onset and evolution of solar flares and coronal mass ejections, SPARK will elucidate the underlying physics of space weather events that can damage satellites and power grids, disrupt telecommunications and GPS navigation, and endanger astronauts in space. The prediction of such events and the mitigation of their potential impacts are crucial in protecting our terrestrial and space-based infrastructure.


Reid, H. A. S., Musset, S., Ryan, D. F., Andretta, V., Auchère, F., Baker, D., …Warmuth, A. (2023). The Solar Particle Acceleration Radiation and Kinetics (SPARK) Mission Concept. Aerospace, 10(12), Article 1034.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 5, 2023
Online Publication Date Dec 15, 2023
Publication Date 2023-12
Deposit Date Feb 21, 2024
Publicly Available Date Feb 21, 2024
Journal Aerospace
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 12
Article Number 1034
Keywords extreme ultraviolet, instrumentation, gamma rays, particle acceleration, flares, X-rays, corona, magnetic reconnection, coronal mass ejections (CMEs)
Public URL


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