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Scheduling the EChO survey with known exoplanets

Morales, J. C., Beaulieu, J.-P., Coudé du Foresto, V., Ollivier, M., Castello, I. Ortega, Clédassou, R., Jaubert, J., Van-Troostenberghe, P., Varley, R., Waldmann, I. P., Pascale, Enzo and Tessenyi, M. 2015. Scheduling the EChO survey with known exoplanets. Experimental Astronomy 40 (2-3) , pp. 655-670. 10.1007/s10686-014-9409-y

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The Exoplanet Characterization Observatory (EChO) is a concept of a dedicated space telescope optimized for low-resolution transit and occultation spectroscopy to study the exoplanet diversity through the composition of their atmospheres. The scope of this paper is to answer the following question: Can we schedule a nominal EChO mission, with targets known today (in mid 2013), given the science requirements, realistic performances and operational constraints? We examine this issue from the point of view of duration of the mission and the scheduling restrictions with a sample of exoplanet systems known nowadays. We choose different scheduling algorithms taking into account the science and operational constraints and we verified that it is fairly straightforward to schedule a mission scenario over the lifetime of EChO compliant with the science requirements. We identified agility as a critical constraint that reduces significantly the efficiency of the survey. We conclude that even with known targets today the EChO science objectives can be reached in the 4.5 years duration of the mission. We also show that it is possible to use gaps between exoplanet observations, to fit the required calibration observations, data downlinks and station keeping operations or even to observe more exoplanet targets to be discovered in the coming years.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0922-6435
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 15:20

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