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14 September 2011 ESA M3 mission candidate EChO
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The Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory (EChO) is a medium class mission candidate within the science program Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 of the European Space Agency. It was selected in February 2011 as one of 4 M3 mission candidates to enter an assessment phase. The assessment activities start with the definition of science and mission requirements as well as of a preliminary model payload, followed by an internal Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) study. Parallel industrial studies will follow in 2012, after which the 4 missions will be reviewed to identify candidates entering definition phase studies in 2013. EChO aims at characterising the atmosphere of known transiting exoplanets, potentially from giant Hot Jupiters down to Super-Earths orbiting in the habitable zone of M-dwarf stars. It will use a 1 m class telescope, feeding a spectrometer covering the wave lengths from 0.4 to 11 microns with a potential extension to 16 microns. While spatial differentiation of the exoplanet and its host star is not necessary, spectral differentiation will be achieved by making differential measurements of in- and out- of transit frames to cancel the star signal. This paper describes critical requirements, and gives an overview of the model payload design. It also reports on the results of the CDF.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
L. Puig, K. G. Isaak, I. Escudero, D. Martin, P.-E. Crouzet, and N. Rando "ESA M3 mission candidate EChO", Proc. SPIE 8146, UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes and Instruments: Innovative Technologies and Concepts V, 81460V (14 September 2011);


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