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News & Events from PLATO 2.0

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PLATO Conference 2021: Exploring exoplanets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars

The PLATO Mission Conference 2021: Exploring exoplanets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars will be held from 11 to 15 October 2021 as an online event. This conference aims to present the status of the PLATO mission to the community, both in terms of satellite development and scientific preparation, and to bring together experts working on observations and theory associated with any of the PLATO science objectives.

The major themes of the Conference are:

  • PLATO development status
  • Selection of the PLATO sky fields and the PLATO Input Catalogue
  • Light-curve analysis for detection and characterisation of long-period small planets
  • Asteroseismology and stellar characterisation
  • Advances in modelling stellar internal structure and evolution
  • Stellar activity
  • Ground-based observations for the confirmation and mass determination of planets
  • Long-period small planets and habitability
  • Planetary structure, composition, evolution, and architecture of planetary systems
  • PLATO in the context of Kepler/K2, TESS, CHEOPS, JWST, Roman Space Telescope, Ariel, and large ground-based observatories
  • Complementary science topics benefitting from PLATO high-precision photometry

For further information please visit the Conference Website.

Tue 16 Mar 2021, 09:18 | Tags: Exoplanets, news, Conference, PLATO, PMC, WebEx, announcement, Granada

2yr postdoc at Padova to analyse CHEOPS data

The Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of Padova offers a postdoc position (two years, renewable) on “Analysis of data from CHaracterizing ExOplanet satellite (CHEOPS) mission”. Deadline for applications Feb. 11, 2021.

Context: CHEOPS is a European Space Agency satellite for exoplanet characterisation from high precision photometry. CHEOPS was launched on 12/2019, and is now fully operating with performances better than specifications (Benz et al. 2020). Researchers of the exoplanet group in Padova are members of the CHEOPS Science Team and responsible of scientific programs for multiple observations of transits planned to identify Transit Time Variations, for mass measurement and discovery of new exoplanets. They are also involved in all other CHEOPS GTO science programs.

The post-doc will be inserted into the Europe-wide CHEOPS collaboration and will have the opportunity to contribute to the numerous CHEOPS scientific projects. The postdoc is expected to work on the CHEOPS light curves and additional data (from TESS and ground-based facilities) for the derivation of the exoplanet parameters.

Location: Padova offers a vibrant and scientifically stimulating environment, with more than 90 staff astronomers, working on many branches of modern astrophysics research. The University attracts students worldwide and the postdoc will have opportunities to supervise master and postdoc thesis.

The exoplanet group in Padova includes researchers at the Physics and Astronomy Department and at the Astronomical Observatory of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), involved in exoplanet research from space (CHEOPS, JWST, PLATO, ARIEL) and ground-based (SPHERE, SHARK, HARPS, ESPRESSO).

The University of Padova is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity.

Require­ments: The applicant shall have a PhD in Astrophysics or related fields. Applicants with expertise in high precision photometry from ground and space, and light curve analysis and modeling are encouraged to apply.

Duration: 2 years (renewable).

Application: please follow instructions at http://www.dfa.unipd.it/fileadmin/Bandi/ASSEGNI/2021/Istruz_Compilaz_Domanda_Pica_01_2021.pdf

Full call at: http://www.dfa.unipd.it/fileadmin/Bandi/ASSEGNI/2021/Prot_31_Bando_assegno_Analisi_dati_da_missione_Piotto-1.pdf (in english in the second part)

Application deadline: February 11, 2021,14:00 CET

Starting: Spring 2021, flexible

Mon 18 Jan 2021, 12:19 | Tags: Job Opportunity, Padova, PLATO, CHEOPS, Italy

Good Vibrations Seminar Series launched

With most international conferences being cancelled, we’re facing some issues:

  • How can we make our PhD students known for their work?
  • How can they start new collaborations, independently of their supervisors?
  • How can they advertise for their papers?

So here’s the idea: what if we create a series of invited seminars, given by young researchers, dedicated to Asteroseismology? We are happy to announce that the Good Vibrations Seminar Series is up and running. You can read about the initiative on the website.

Call for applications

The steering committee is welcoming applications from PhD students in Asteroseismology. The procedure is simple and can be found here: Apply!

In order to perform the selection and distribute the seminars in time, it is important that students declare their interest in advance (i.e. before the end of 2020); the title and abstract can be preliminary at this stage.

Please note that priority will be given to students who finish their PhD in 2021. The steering committee will aim to ensure appropriate diversity of both seminar topics and speakers.

If you want to include your group in the initiative, you are most welcome to join. If you have any further questions, please get in touch with the steering committee.


Engineer Position at LESIA - Observatoire de Paris

LESIA is responsible for the study and specification of on-ground data processing algorithms to derive light curves from PLATO observations. At this stage of the project, the main components of the on-ground data processing chains are identified, but the corresponding algorithms have to be studied in detail, evaluations of the expected performance have to be made, and the algorithms need to be translated into documentation that will be used to develop the data processing pipeline itself.

The successful candidate will join a team made up of several LESIA researchers and engineers involved in the PLATO space mission, and will benefit from the expertise of a team of researchers and engineers from different European countries (France, Portugal, Germany, United Kingdom) with solid experience in space missions CoRoT, Kepler and GAIA.

The position is initially for one year and is renewable for an additional year. The position is open at the earliest from 1st November 2020. The salary level corresponds to the CNRS IR (Ingenieur de Recherche) fixed-term contract salary scale and depends on the level of the diploma and experience. The successful candidate would work at the LESIA-Observatoire de Paris, at the Meudon site (92, Haut de Seine, France).

For more information, click the title of this news item.

Tue 11 Aug 2020, 16:20 | Tags: PLATO 2.0, PDC, Job Opportunity, DPA-WG, data processing, PLATO, software, developer

Multiple research positions in stellar, exoplanet, and data science at MPS

The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Goettingen, Germany, invites applications for several research positions in stellar physics and exoplanet science in preparation for the PLATO mission. The positions are available in the Solar and Stellar Interiors Department starting as soon as September 2020 for a period of two years, with the possibility of an extension. The start date is negotiable. In case of travel restrictions due to the coronavirus crisis, remote work may be possible at the beginning of the employment period.

Applications will be reviewed starting 24 August 2020 until the positions are filled.

For more information, click the title of this news item.


PLATO ESP 2020 - Planetary interiors and system architectures

This is the first announcement of the PLATO Extra-Solar Planets 2020 (ESP2020) workshop, to be held virtually between 30th November - 3rd December 2020. (The original place was Berlin, Germany, but due to the known pandemic situation we decided that the workshop will be virtual this year.) This is the third such workshop. The first one was held in Marseille, France (2018) and the second one was in Warwick, UK (2019).

The topic of the workshop this year is "Planetary interiors and system architectures". The aims of the workshop are to discuss how PLATO may help to understand planetary interiors and give new and more precise constraints on them, and to identify which open issues of planetary system architecture could be solved by PLATO's future measurements. We will also discuss what was learned from earlier (CoRoT, Kepler/K2, TESS, and ground-based measurements) related to system architectures and how the observations are confronted by theory.
 
More information about PLATO ESP2019 can be found at https://platoesp.org/, including a link to the registration and abstract submission form. The closing date for registration is Wednesday, 30th of September 2020 at 23:59pm UTC+2.
 
We look forward to seeing you at the workshop. If you have any questions, please contact the LOC at psmoffice@warwick.ac.uk
Tue 07 Jul 2020, 18:14 | Tags: Exoplanets, Meeting, Workshop, PSM, news, PLATO, virtual meeting, PLATOESP

PLATO Week 10 final details

PLATO Week 10 will now be held remotely from the 26th to 28th of May 2020.

PW10 is being organised by the Konkoly Observatory of the Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences and the PMC.
Owing to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the decision has been made to move the meeting online; the conference will be conducted using WebEx (access provided by ESA).

The schedule for the meeting has been updated following this change. Please go to the PLATO Week 10 website for more details. A detailed agenda for the meeting will be available nearer the time.

Mon 27 Apr 2020, 09:00 | Tags: Meeting, PLATO week, PDC, PSM, ESA, news, PLATO, PMC, Budapest, online, virtual meeting

COVID-19: a message from the PLATO Consortium Lead

Heike Rauer, PLATO Consortium Lead, today circulated a message to all PMC members regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. You can see the full message by clicking on the title of this news item.

At the PSM Office, we echo Heike's message, and hope that everyone stays safe and well during this period of uncertainty.

Fri 03 Apr 2020, 09:00 | Tags: PSM, PSM Office, news, PLATO, Newsletter, stay safe, stay home, COVID-19, support

PMC-Internal L2/L3 RR successfully concludes

The first major review of PSM activity, the L2/L3 Requirements Review, was closed-out on the 9th of March 2020.

This internal review, which was run completely by the PLATO Mission Consortium, assessed the requirements for the L2 & L3 data processing pipelines, the systems that take PLATO light curves and identify planetary candidates, confirm planetary systems, and derive stellar properties.

Although a large number of action items remain to be completed, this review is considered a success by all involved. Thank you to everyone who took part, in any capacity.

Tue 10 Mar 2020, 09:00 | Tags: Review, Exoplanets, PDC, PSM, ESA, data processing, news, PLATO, PMC, requirements, L2/3 RR, SCIP, Success

PLATO Week 10 announcement

PLATO Week 10 will be taking place from the 26th to the 28th May 2020, and will be held in Budapest, Hungary.

As usual, the meeting will be preceded by an ESA progress meeting (invitation only).

More details are available on the PW10 website.

Tue 25 Feb 2020, 12:00 | Tags: PLATO week, ESA, news, PLATO, PMC, Budapest

PMC-Internal L2/L3 RR kicks-off

The first major review of PSM activity, the L2/L3 Requirements Review, successfully kicked-off on Friday 29th November. This internal review, which is run completely by the PLATO Mission Consortium and has only limited input from ESA, is assessing the requirements for the L2 & L3 data processing pipelines, the systems that take PLATO light curves and identify planetary candidates, confirm planetary systems, and derive stellar properties.

The initial phase of the review concludes on the 20th of December, and the review runs until the end of February 2020.

Mon 09 Dec 2019, 16:32 | Tags: Review, Exoplanets, PDC, PSM, ESA, data processing, news, PLATO, PMC, requirements, L2/3 RR, kick-off, SCIP

PDC job advert - database software developer #1

The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), Göttingen, Germany, invites applications for a Database Software Developer to work for the PLATO Data Centre (PDC). The position is available for an initial period starting as soon as possible until 31st March 2022, with the possibility of an extension that is contingent upon performance and project funding.

Please send your CV and application letter in English (certificates and reference letters may be in German) as one PDF file to burston@mps.mpg.de with the subject line “PDC-DB-sciprog-20191113”. Applications will be reviewed from the 1st December 2019 until the position is filled.

For information, please click the title of this news item.

Wed 20 Nov 2019, 00:00 | Tags: PDC, Göttingen, PLATO, database, software, developer, Germany, MPSSR

PDC job advert - database software developer #2

The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), Göttingen, Germany, invites applications for a Database Software Developer to work for the PLATO Data Centre (PDC). The position is available for an initial period starting as soon as possible until 31st March 2022, with the possibility of an extension that is contingent upon performance and project funding.

Please send your CV and application letter in English (certificates and reference letters may be in German) as one PDF file to burston@mps.mpg.de with the subject line “PDC-DB-swdev-13112019”. Applications will be reviewed from the 1st December 2019 until the position is filled.

For information, please click the title of this news item.

Tue 19 Nov 2019, 23:30 | Tags: PDC, Göttingen, PLATO, database, software, developer, Germany, MPSSR

PLATO STESCI III

WP12 (STESCI) are holding their third workshop in Barcelona, Spain, between 19th and 22nd November 2019.

STESCI currently includes over 100 researchers from 11 different countries, across Europe, North America, and South America. Its activities are spread over 53 sub-work packages, which tasks have been defined. However scientific issues remain to be debated in order to ensure optimized determination of stellar parameters with the accuracy required by the mission, yet unreached.

This workshop intend to gather STESCI members, with the aim of discussing and taking decisions about the best scientific options to derive stellar parameters with the uncertainties requested by the PLATO mission.

For more information, please see the workshop's website.


PLATO ESP2019

PLATO ESP2019, "Single, Shallow, and Strange transits", is being held at the University of Warwick, UK, between 2nd and 4th September 2019.

Following on from the first PLATO ESP workshop in Marseille in 2018, this workshop will discuss the photometric signatures produced by unusual transiting objects.

More information can be found at https://platoesp.org/, including a link to the registration form. Spaces are limited!

Tue 02 Jul 2019, 17:00 | Tags: Exoplanets, Meeting, Workshop, PSM, news, transits, PLATO, UK, PLATOESP

PLATO Week 9 announcement

PLATO Week 9 will be taking place from the 9th to the 11th October 2019, and will be held in Marseille, France.

As usual, the meeting will be preceded by an ESA progress meeting (invitation only).

More details are available on the PW9 website.

Mon 01 Jul 2019, 13:00 | Tags: Meeting, PLATO week, PDC, PSM, ESA, news, PLATO, Marseille, PMC

Research Engineer: the study and specification of the on-ground processing algorithms of PLATO

The LESIA (http://www.lesia.obspm.fr/) is strongly committed to PLATO, both in terms of embedded software, the specification of on-board and on-ground processing algorithms, and the scientific preparation of the mission. As part of the mission development phase, one of the tasks to be carried out concerns the study and specification of all on-ground algorithms. These specifications are indeed essential to begin with the development of the on-ground data processing chains. This work is conducted under the responsibility of the LESIA (respectively R. Samadi) in the framework of WP 32 (a component of the Plato Data Center, PDC). It involves many collaborators in close contact with the team responsible for the development of the on-ground software at the Max Planck Institute in Gottingen (Germany).

At this stage of the project, the main components of the on-ground data processing chains are identified. However, the corresponding algorithms have to be studied in detail and complete evaluations of the expected performances have to be made. Finally, it will be necessary to translate the algorithms, currently in the form of detailed specifications, into a set of documents on the basis of which the PLATO Data Center (PDC) team will then develop the codes and perform the validation and integration tests.

Wed 15 May 2019, 13:53 | Tags: PDC, DPA-WG, data processing, algorithms, PLATO

Delivery of first detectors for PLATO

The first batch of charge-coupled devices (CCDs) to be flown on ESA’s PLATO space observatory was accepted by ESA last month. This is an important milestone on the road to creating a groundbreaking spacecraft that will detect Earth-sized exoplanets in orbit around distant stars.

The CCDs will be a key element of the largest digital combined camera ever flown in space. This camera will receive light from 26 telescopes, all mounted on a single satellite platform. The first 20 CCDs for PLATO were accepted for delivery by ESA in mid-March, and the remaining 84 detectors will be delivered in further batches before the end of 2020.

“The delivery of the first detectors at this time is important because it secures the early availability of one of the key elements of the whole mission,” said Bengt Johlander, the PLATO Payload Manager for ESA.

For more details, see ESA's press release: http://sci.esa.int/plato/61280-delivery-of-first-detectors-for-platos-exoplanet-mission

Wed 24 Apr 2019, 10:07 | Tags: Payload, ESA, news, CCD, PLATO, spacecraft, Newsletter, instrument, PMC

Successful conclusion of Payload PDR

On March 27th a successful close-out meeting for the Payload Preliminary Design Review (P/L-PDR) was held at ESTEC, with ESA certifying that PLATO has achieved all the criteria necessary to pass the review.

The PMC leadership would like to thank the whole team for the enormous effort they made. It was only possible to reach this important milestone thanks to the consistently high motivation and desire to succeed that is present at all levels of the consortium.

In 2021 we will have the Payload Critical Design Review (P/L-CDR) and with the Camera Series Production Readiness milestone to deal with. Before that, however, we must complete the ongoing Unit PDRs.

Mon 08 Apr 2019, 09:02 | Tags: Review, PSM, ESA, PSM Office, news, PLATO, spacecraft, Newsletter, PMC, PDR, Success

New PLATO mission consortium website

The PLATO mission consortium has a new website - https://platomission.com/

The new website provides an overview of the PLATO mission, information about the different groups involved, science goals and requirements, development work, mission timeline, etc.

For general information about PLATO, please use the new website. PSM-specific news and updates will continue to be made available through this website.


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