See the Calendar for upcoming events
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.
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
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.
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.
OHB System AG, a subsidiary of Bremen-based space and technology group OHB SE has been selected as prime contractor for the science mission PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of Stars (PLATO) by the European Space Agency (ESA).
During the development and the production of the PLATO satellite, OHB System will have access to the contribution of a core team consisting of Thales Alenia Space (France and UK) and RUAG Space (Switzerland)(source: OHB System AG).
The prime selection together with the upcoming Instrument Preliminary Design Review (IPDR) are important milestones towards the completion of the development phase and the start of the implementation phase next year.
WP12 (STESCI) are holding their second workshop in Messina, Sicily, Italy, between 22nd and 25th May 2018.
The first part of the workshop will consist of presentations which will review the scientific issues and related tasks achieved since the previous workshop (held in Paris in May 2016). Decisions on chosen scientific options will then be made, and approved.
In the second part of the workshop, scientific presentations and discussions will take place about issues that still remain to be clarified and solved. Related actions, and scientific work to be done, will be decided.
Places are limited; for more information, please see the workshop's website.
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 early as 1st January 2018 until 31st March 2019, with the possibility of a long-term extension that is contingent upon performance and project funding.
Please send your CV and application letter, in English, as one PDF file to knoche[at]mps.mpg.de with the subject line "PDC Database Software Developer. Review of applications will begin on 22/12/2017 and continue until the position is filled.
For information, please click the title of this news item.
Myriad updates have been made to the website over the last week. These include updates to the PSM members-only area; please click the title of this item for more details.
Brief reports for PLATO Week 4 (Summer 2017) and PLATO Week 5 (Autumn 2017) are now available through the Meetings page. Both PLATO Weeks included a large number of sessions that were relevant to the PSM.
The presentations from these meetings are available from the PLATO Sharepoint (sign-in required). Those relevant to the PSM will be made available through the Meeting Documents page (PSM members only, sign-in required).
The 10th meeting of the DPA-WG is taking place on October 11th and 12th, at Observatoire de Paris. Attendance is by invitation only.
The Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA), Universidade do Porto, Portugal will organise the fifth PLATO Week that is scheduled from 24/10/2017 to 26/10/2017. For questions concerning the local organisation please contact email@example.com. Please note that attendance is by invitation only.
For more information, please see the meeting website.
ESA's Science Programme Committee have agreed to adopt PLATO into the Science Programme moving forwards. Mission adoption is a big milestone for PLATO, and marks the move from a blueprint mission into a fully-realised concern.
This decision is just reward for all of the hard work put in by the PLATO team over the last several years.