The proposed mission is expected to enhance the scientists' understanding of coronal maturity within the Sun's surface along with the reason behind coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The mission also could shed light into why the solar corona is orders-of-magnitude hotter than the Sun’s surface, or photosphere.
Currently, two solar-centric spacecraft, Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, that NASA launched in 1995 and the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, deployed 11 years later, carry their own coronagraphs in the form of flat-plate occulters. A visual representation of the COR1 coronagraph aboard the STEREO spacecraft is shown below. However, since both these missions are getting old and there are no new mainstream missions planned by NASA to study solar coronas, the SpOC can be considered to be a timely venture. The SpOC has an advantage over traditional flat-plate occulters used so far - its spherical shape offers diffraction-suppression advantages, which in turn will significantly help in eliminating noise.
Based on the success of this mission, NASA plans to send another much larger CubeSat mission which would feature an inflatable occulter with a diameter of 29.9 meters (98 feet), resembling a massive beach ball. As always, we welcome any new missions that study our Sun – it the source of our light and life and we really should understand it better!
Source for info on this study, http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2015/11/14/new-coronagraph-design-to-be-tested-in-an-upcoming-cubesat-mission/ Posted 14 Nov 2015