Advanced

High precision astrometry mission for the detection and characterization of nearby habitable planetary systems with the Nearby Earth Astrometric Telescope (NEAT)

Malbet, Fabien; Leger, Alain; Shao, Michael; Goullioud, Renaud; Lagage, Pierre-Olivier; Brown, Anthony G. A.; Cara, Christophe; Durand, Gilles; Eiroa, Carlos and Feautrier, Philippe, et al. (2012) In Experimental Astronomy 34(2). p.385-413
Abstract
A complete census of planetary systems around a volume-limited sample of solar-type stars (FGK dwarfs) in the Solar neighborhood (d a parts per thousand currency signaEuro parts per thousand 15 pc) with uniform sensitivity down to Earth-mass planets within their Habitable Zones out to several AUs would be a major milestone in extrasolar planets astrophysics. This fundamental goal can be achieved with a mission concept such as NEAT-the Nearby Earth Astrometric Telescope. NEAT is designed to carry out space-borne extremely-high-precision astrometric measurements at the 0.05 mu as (1 sigma) accuracy level, sufficient to detect dynamical effects due to orbiting planets of mass even lower than Earth's around the nearest stars. Such a survey... (More)
A complete census of planetary systems around a volume-limited sample of solar-type stars (FGK dwarfs) in the Solar neighborhood (d a parts per thousand currency signaEuro parts per thousand 15 pc) with uniform sensitivity down to Earth-mass planets within their Habitable Zones out to several AUs would be a major milestone in extrasolar planets astrophysics. This fundamental goal can be achieved with a mission concept such as NEAT-the Nearby Earth Astrometric Telescope. NEAT is designed to carry out space-borne extremely-high-precision astrometric measurements at the 0.05 mu as (1 sigma) accuracy level, sufficient to detect dynamical effects due to orbiting planets of mass even lower than Earth's around the nearest stars. Such a survey mission would provide the actual planetary masses and the full orbital geometry for all the components of the detected planetary systems down to the Earth-mass limit. The NEAT performance limits can be achieved by carrying out differential astrometry between the targets and a set of suitable reference stars in the field. The NEAT instrument design consists of an off-axis parabola single-mirror telescope (D = 1 m), a detector with a large field of view located 40 m away from the telescope and made of 8 small movable CCDs located around a fixed central CCD, and an interferometric calibration system monitoring dynamical Young's fringes originating from metrology fibers located at the primary mirror. The mission profile is driven by the fact that the two main modules of the payload, the telescope and the focal plane, must be located 40 m away leading to the choice of a formation flying option as the reference mission, and of a deployable boom option as an alternative choice. The proposed mission architecture relies on the use of two satellites, of about 700 kg each, operating at L2 for 5 years, flying in formation and offering a capability of more than 20,000 reconfigurations. The two satellites will be launched in a stacked configuration using a Soyuz ST launch vehicle. The NEAT primary science program will encompass an astrometric survey of our 200 closest F-, G- and K-type stellar neighbors, with an average of 50 visits each distributed over the nominal mission duration. The main survey operation will use approximately 70% of the mission lifetime. The remaining 30% of NEAT observing time might be allocated, for example, to improve the characterization of the architecture of selected planetary systems around nearby targets of specific interest (low-mass stars, young stars, etc.) discovered by Gaia, ground-based high-precision radial-velocity surveys, and other programs. With its exquisite, surgical astrometric precision, NEAT holds the promise to provide the first thorough census for Earth-mass planets around stars in the immediate vicinity of our Sun. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
, et al. (More)
(Less)
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Exoplanets, Planetary systems, Planetary formation, Astrometry, Space, Mission
in
Experimental Astronomy
volume
34
issue
2
pages
385 - 413
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000309230600009
  • scopus:84866889312
ISSN
0922-6435
DOI
10.1007/s10686-011-9246-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ea995c47-3edd-4cd1-b8b8-3f45915bb959 (old id 3189862)
date added to LUP
2012-12-04 14:13:22
date last changed
2017-05-28 03:21:44
@article{ea995c47-3edd-4cd1-b8b8-3f45915bb959,
  abstract     = {A complete census of planetary systems around a volume-limited sample of solar-type stars (FGK dwarfs) in the Solar neighborhood (d a parts per thousand currency signaEuro parts per thousand 15 pc) with uniform sensitivity down to Earth-mass planets within their Habitable Zones out to several AUs would be a major milestone in extrasolar planets astrophysics. This fundamental goal can be achieved with a mission concept such as NEAT-the Nearby Earth Astrometric Telescope. NEAT is designed to carry out space-borne extremely-high-precision astrometric measurements at the 0.05 mu as (1 sigma) accuracy level, sufficient to detect dynamical effects due to orbiting planets of mass even lower than Earth's around the nearest stars. Such a survey mission would provide the actual planetary masses and the full orbital geometry for all the components of the detected planetary systems down to the Earth-mass limit. The NEAT performance limits can be achieved by carrying out differential astrometry between the targets and a set of suitable reference stars in the field. The NEAT instrument design consists of an off-axis parabola single-mirror telescope (D = 1 m), a detector with a large field of view located 40 m away from the telescope and made of 8 small movable CCDs located around a fixed central CCD, and an interferometric calibration system monitoring dynamical Young's fringes originating from metrology fibers located at the primary mirror. The mission profile is driven by the fact that the two main modules of the payload, the telescope and the focal plane, must be located 40 m away leading to the choice of a formation flying option as the reference mission, and of a deployable boom option as an alternative choice. The proposed mission architecture relies on the use of two satellites, of about 700 kg each, operating at L2 for 5 years, flying in formation and offering a capability of more than 20,000 reconfigurations. The two satellites will be launched in a stacked configuration using a Soyuz ST launch vehicle. The NEAT primary science program will encompass an astrometric survey of our 200 closest F-, G- and K-type stellar neighbors, with an average of 50 visits each distributed over the nominal mission duration. The main survey operation will use approximately 70% of the mission lifetime. The remaining 30% of NEAT observing time might be allocated, for example, to improve the characterization of the architecture of selected planetary systems around nearby targets of specific interest (low-mass stars, young stars, etc.) discovered by Gaia, ground-based high-precision radial-velocity surveys, and other programs. With its exquisite, surgical astrometric precision, NEAT holds the promise to provide the first thorough census for Earth-mass planets around stars in the immediate vicinity of our Sun.},
  author       = {Malbet, Fabien and Leger, Alain and Shao, Michael and Goullioud, Renaud and Lagage, Pierre-Olivier and Brown, Anthony G. A. and Cara, Christophe and Durand, Gilles and Eiroa, Carlos and Feautrier, Philippe and Jakobsson, Bjoern and Hinglais, Emmanuel and Kaltenegger, Lisa and Labadie, Lucas and Lagrange, Anne-Marie and Laskar, Jacques and Liseau, Rene and Lunine, Jonathan and Maldonado, Jesus and Mercier, Manuel and Mordasini, Christoph and Queloz, Didier and Quirrenbach, Andreas and Sozzetti, Alessandro and Traub, Wesley and Absil, Olivier and Alibert, Yann and Andrei, Alexandre Humberto and Arenou, Frederic and Beichman, Charles and Chelli, Alain and Cockell, Charles S. and Duvert, Gilles and Forveille, Thierry and Garcia, Paulo J. V. and Hobbs, David and Krone-Martins, Alberto and Lammer, Helmut and Meunier, Nadege and Minardi, Stefano and de Almeida, Andre Moitinho and Rambaux, Nicolas and Raymond, Sean and Roettgering, Huub J. A. and Sahlmann, Johannes and Schuller, Peter A. and Segransan, Damien and Selsis, Franck and Surdej, Jean and Villaver, Eva and White, Glenn J. and Zinnecker, Hans},
  issn         = {0922-6435},
  keyword      = {Exoplanets,Planetary systems,Planetary formation,Astrometry,Space,Mission},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {385--413},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Experimental Astronomy},
  title        = {High precision astrometry mission for the detection and characterization of nearby habitable planetary systems with the Nearby Earth Astrometric Telescope (NEAT)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10686-011-9246-1},
  volume       = {34},
  year         = {2012},
}