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Proceedings Paper

Status of the assessment phase of the ESA M3 mission candidate LOFT
Author(s): Carlos Corral van Damme; Mark Ayre; David Lumb; Alexander D. Short; Nicola Rando
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Paper Abstract

LOFT (Large Observatory For x-ray Timing) is one of four candidates for the M3 slot (launch in 2024, with the option of a launch in 2022) of ESAs Cosmic Vision 2015 – 2025 Plan, and as such it is currently undergoing an initial assessment phase lasting one year. The objective of the assessment phase is to provide the information required to enable the down selection process, in particular: the space segment definition for meeting the assigned science objectives; consideration of and initial definition of the implementation schedule; an estimate of the mission Cost at Completion (CaC); an evaluation of the technology readiness evaluation and risk assessment. The assessment phase is divided into two interleaved components: (i) A payload assessment study, performed by teams funded by member states, which is primarily intended for design, definition and programmatic/cost evaluation of the payload, and (ii) A system industrial study, which has essentially the same objectives for the space segment of the mission. This paper provides an overview of the status of the LOFT assessment phase, both for payload and platform. The initial focus is on the payload design status, providing the reader with an understanding of the main features of the design. Then the space segment assessment study status is presented, with an overview of the principal challenges presented by the LOFT payload and mission requirements, and a presentation of the expected solutions. Overall the mission is expected to enable cutting-edge science, is technically feasible, and should remain within the required CaC for an M3 candidate.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2012
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 8443, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 84432E (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925976
Show Author Affiliations
Carlos Corral van Damme, ESA/ESTEC (Netherlands)
Mark Ayre, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
David Lumb, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
Alexander D. Short, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
Nicola Rando, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8443:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Tadayuki Takahashi; Stephen S. Murray; Jan-Willem A. den Herder, Editor(s)

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