See the Calendar for upcoming events
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.
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.
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 PSM review of the onboard data processing algorithms continues.
Following the delivery of the final reports to the PDC Office and the Performance Team, the PSM Office have been working with those groups to address the action items arising from the reports. Several of these have now been closed, but there are some outstanding issues that urgently need attention. Of these, the most important is the question of scientific testing to show that the algorithms fulfil the mission's science requirements.
The PSM Office circulated an email update regarding this question, with information about how PSM members can contribute to this effort. Please get in touch via email if you have not received this.
Information, and a list of next steps, is available on the Reviews page of the Members-only area (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.
A research team led by PSM member Andrew Miglio (University of Birmingham) has published a white paper on the pre-print arXiv that describes how PLATO can contribute to the field of Galactic archaeology.
They identify key outstanding questions related to the formation and evolution of the Milky Way. Answering these questions requires precise, accurate ages for large samples of stars, such as those that will be provided by PLATO's asteroseismic data (through WP12, Stellar Science). They demonstrate that the capabilities of PLATO are such that answering their key questions is possible.
The paper can be found on ADS.
PLATO Week 3 took place at MPSSR in Göttingen between the 13th and 15th of March 2017. There were many sessions of relevance to the PSM:
- An overview of PSM activities since the last meeting, presented by the PSM Coordinator, Don Pollacco.
- A joint PSM-PDC plenary session, which included presentations on the L1 on-ground processing chain, Exoplanet Science and Stellar Science requirements on L1 data, and a working model for interactions between the two bodies.
- A splinter session on candidate ranking and follow-up
- A splinter session on PMC System Wide tools, with reference to PSM tools for content management, version control, action items, and requirement tracking moving forwards.
- A splinter session on the PDC Database organisation
- A splinter session on support tools for data analysis.
The presentations from these sessions, and from all of the other sessions at PLATO Week 3, can be found at the meeting's webpage, and through the detailed information for this news item.
PLATO Week 3 will be hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany. It will be taking place between the 13th and 15th of March. Attendance is by invitation only.
UPDATE: Information regarding the meeting can be found at the meeting's website.
PLATO Week 2 took place at ASI in Rome between the 8th and 10th of November 2016. The PSM held several joint sessions with the PDC, during which discussions focussed on the high-level schedule for developing the on-ground data processing pipeline.
Minutes for the PSM-PDC sessions can be found on the Publications page, along with the slides that were shown during the meeting.
The second PLATO Week will be held from the 8th to the 10th of November at the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) in Rome. Detailed information can be found on the meeting's webpage (click the news item title).
The Local Organizer is Isabella Pagano: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are intending to come to the meeting, please register using the link on the webpage at least 2 weeks before the meeting. Registration is mandatory.
The University of Warwick (UK) will be hosting the PLATO Mission Conference 2017: exoplanets in the PLATO era. The conference will take place between the 5th and 7th of September 2017. Further details to come.
The University of Leuven is hosting the first ever PLATO Week between 18.07.16 and 20.07.16
Further information can be found at the webpage (click the news item heading)
A WP120 meeting with the leaders of the WP12X took place on the 23rd and 24th of May.