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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

The PLATO camera
Author(s): D. Laubier; P. Bodin; H. Pasquier; S. Fredon; P. Levacher; P. Vola; T. Buey; P. Bernardi

Paper Abstract

PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillation of stars) is a candidate for the M3 Medium-size mission of the ESA Cosmic Vision programme (2015-2025 period). It is aimed at Earth-size and Earth-mass planet detection in the habitable zone of bright stars and their characterisation using the transit method and the asterosismology of their host star. That means observing more than 100 000 stars brighter than magnitude 11, and more than 1 000 000 brighter than magnitude 13, with a long continuous observing time for 20 % of them (2 to 3 years). This yields a need for an unusually long term signal stability. For the brighter stars, the noise requirement is less than 34, from a frequency of 40 mHz down to 20 μHz, including all sources of noise like for instance the motion of the star images on the detectors and frequency beatings. Those extremely tight requirements result in a payload consisting of 32 synchronised, high aperture, wide field of view cameras thermally regulated down to -80°C, whose data are combined to increase the signal to noise performances. They are split into 4 different subsets pointing at 4 directions to widen the total field of view; stars in the centre of that field of view are observed by all 32 cameras. 2 extra cameras are used with color filters and provide pointing measurement to the spacecraft Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS) loop. The satellite is orbiting the Sun at the L2 Lagrange point. This paper presents the optical, electronic and electrical, thermal and mechanical designs devised to achieve those requirements, and the results from breadboards developed for the optics, the focal plane, the power supply and video electronics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 November 2017
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10564, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2012, 1056405 (20 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2309075
Show Author Affiliations
D. Laubier, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
P. Bodin, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
H. Pasquier, Ctr. National d’Etudes Spatiales (France)
S. Fredon, Ctr. National d’Etudes Spatiales (France)
P. Levacher, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
P. Vola, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
T. Buey, Lab. d'Etudes Spatiales et d'Instrumentation en Astrophysique (France)
P. Bernardi, Lab. d’Etudes Spatiales et d’Instrumentation en Astrophysique (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10564:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2012
Bruno Cugny; Errico Armandillo; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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