The space environment is harsh not only on humans and other living organisms, but instruments also. Damage from solar energetic particles and cosmic rays can slowly degrade performance of an instrument. Fortunately there are ways to characterize and correct for this degradation. The graphics on this page are based on the tutorial AIApy: Modeling Channel Degradation over Time.
Plot of the change in instrument sensitivity with time for the AIA instruments on SDO. Note some filters are far more strongly affected than others
After almost a year of operations, there is already a suggestion of a change in instrument response. Here we have AIA 304 data with the color table applied to the raw data (above) and the recalibrated data (below).