References of "Eiroa, Carlos"
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See detailHigh precision astrometry mission for the detection and characterization of nearby habitable planetary systems with the Nearby Earth Astrometric Telescope (NEAT)
Malbet, Fabien; Léger, Alain; Shao, Michael et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2012), 34(2), 385-413

A complete census of planetary systems around a volume-limited sample of solar-type stars (FGK dwarfs) in the Solar neighborhood (d ≤ 15 pc) with uniform sensitivity down to Earth-mass planets within ... [more ▼]

A complete census of planetary systems around a volume-limited sample of solar-type stars (FGK dwarfs) in the Solar neighborhood (d ≤ 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 μas (1 σ) 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 ▲]

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See detailThe Search for Worlds Like Our Own
Fridlund, Malcolm; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas et al

in Astrobiology (2010), 10(1), 5-17

The direct detection of Earth-like exoplanets orbiting nearby stars and the characterization of such planets -- particularly, their evolution, their atmospheres, and their ability to host life ... [more ▼]

The direct detection of Earth-like exoplanets orbiting nearby stars and the characterization of such planets -- particularly, their evolution, their atmospheres, and their ability to host life -- constitute a significant problem. The quest for other worlds as abodes of life has been one of mankind's great questions for several millennia. For instance, as stated by Epicurus 300 BC: Other worlds, with plants and other living things, some of them similar and some of them different from ours, must exist. Demokritos from Abdera (460-370 BC), the man who invented the concept of indivisible small parts - atoms - also held the belief that other worlds exist around the stars and that some of these worlds may be inhabited by life-forms. The idea of the plurality of worlds and of life on them has since been held by scientists like Johannes Kepler and William Herschel, among many others. Here, one must also mention Giordano Bruno. Born in 1548, Bruno studied in France and came into contact with the teachings of Nicolas Copernicus. He wrote the book De l'Infinito, Universo e Mondi in 1584, in which he claimed that the Universe was infinite, that it contained an infinite amount of worlds like Earth, and that these worlds were inhabited by intelligent beings. At the time, this was extremely controversial, and eventually Bruno was arrested by the church and burned at the stake in Rome in 1600, as a heretic, for promoting this and other equally confrontational issues (though it is unclear exactly which idea was the one that ultimately brought him to his end). In all the aforementioned cases, the opinions and results were arrived at through reasoning--not by experiment. We have only recently acquired the technological capability to observe planets orbiting stars other than 6our Sun; acquisition of this capability has been a remarkable feat of our time. We show in this introduction to the Habitability Primer that mankind is at the dawning of an age when, by way of the scientific method and 21st-century technology, we will be able to answer this fascinating controversial issue that has persisted for at least 2500 years. [less ▲]

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See detailDarwin---an experimental astronomy mission to search for extrasolar planets
Cockell, Charles S; Herbst, Tom; Léger, Alain et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2009), 23

As a response to ESA call for mission concepts for its Cosmic Vision 2015--2025 plan, we propose a mission called Darwin. Its primary goal is the study of terrestrial extrasolar planets and the search for ... [more ▼]

As a response to ESA call for mission concepts for its Cosmic Vision 2015--2025 plan, we propose a mission called Darwin. Its primary goal is the study of terrestrial extrasolar planets and the search for life on them. In this paper, we describe different characteristics of the instrument. [less ▲]

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See detailAn optimized nulling ground based demonstrator for DARWIN: the ALADDIN proposal
Absil, Olivier ULiege; Barillot, Marc; Coudé du Foresto, Vincent et al

E-print/Working paper (2008)

We present here a ground-based mission which is optimized to study the exozodiacal dust around nearby solar-type stars. The objective is the same as the goal that led to the ESA phase A study for the ... [more ▼]

We present here a ground-based mission which is optimized to study the exozodiacal dust around nearby solar-type stars. The objective is the same as the goal that led to the ESA phase A study for the GENIE nulling instrument at the VLTI: pave the way for future space missions dedicated to the spectroscopic IR characterization of exo-Earth atmospheres, by investigating one of the major, and least known, noise sources in the direct detection telluric exoplanets. An antarctic nuller is the optimal ground-based answer for this purpose, providing with relatively modest 1m apertures a capability that outperforms a pair of 8m telescopes on a temperate site. The ALADDIN concept is an integrated Antarctic-based L-band nulling breadboard with relatively modest collectors (1m) and baseline (<40m). Because of its privileged location, this is sufficient to achieve a sensitivity (in terms of detectable zodi levels) better than GENIE at the VLTI, bringing it to threshold value (~30 zodis) identified to carry out the DARWIN precursor science. These estimations are based on a preliminary design study by Thalès Alenia Space and were obtained using the same simulation software as the one employed for GENIE. The integrated design enables top-level optimization and full access to the light collectors for the duration of the mission, while reducing the complexity of the nulling breadboard. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterisation of disks around YSOs with GENIE
Kaltenegger, Lisa; Absil, Olivier ULiege; Eiroa, Carlos et al

in Fridlund, Malcolm; Henning, Thomas (Eds.) Towards Other Earths: DARWIN/TPF and the Search for Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets (2003, October 01)

Recent interferometric observations show that the interfered near-IR size of the circumstellar material around Young Stellar Object (YSO) are larger than those expected from accretion disk models. There ... [more ▼]

Recent interferometric observations show that the interfered near-IR size of the circumstellar material around Young Stellar Object (YSO) are larger than those expected from accretion disk models. There are currently different models that account for the excess IR emission of Young Stellar Objects (YSO). At the same time, the answers to many questions on the evolutionary status and the origin of the activity and variability depend critically on the relative importance of circumstellar distribution of material in disks or envelopes at different spatial scales. Operating at mid-infrared wavelengths, the Ground-based European Nulling Interferometer Experiment (GENIE) will be particularly sensitive to warm circumstellar dust and will thus provide the opportunity to characterize dust disks around YSOs. Observations with GENIE will enable us to investigate the properties of the circumstellar dust, which are responsible for the excess near-infrared fluxes. The nulling of the central star will bring out the disk in much more detail and hence put stronger constraints on these models. [less ▲]

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