Scientific Results

PLATO: detailed design of the telescope optical units

Year: 2010

Authors: Magrin D., Munari M., Pagano I., Piazza D., Ragazzoni R., Arcidiacono C., Basso S., Dima M., Farinato J., Gambicorti L., Gentile G., Ghigo M., Pace E., Piotto G., Scuderi S., Viotto V., Zima W., Catala C.

Autors Affiliation: INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy; INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, Via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy; Space Research and Planetary Sciences Division, Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland; INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy; INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via Brera 28, 20121 Milano, Italy; Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Largo E. Fermi 6, 50125 Firenze, Italy; Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Firenze, Largo E. Fermi 2, 50125 Firenze, Italy; Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova, Italy; Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, University Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, 3001 Leuven, Belgium; Observatoire de Paris à Meudon, Place Jules Janssen, F-92 195, Meudon Cedex, France

Abstract: The project PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) is one of the three medium class (M class) missions selected in 2010 for definition study in the framework of the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 program. The main scientific goals of PLATO are the i) discovery and study of extra-solar planetary systems, (including those hosting Earth-like planets in their habitable zone) by means of planetary transits detection from space and radial velocity follow-up from ground, and ii) the characterization of the hosting stars through seismic analysis, in order to determine with high accuracy planetary masses and ages. According to the study made by the PLATO Payload Consortium (PPLC) during the PLATO assessment phase, the scientific payload consists of 34 all refractive telescopes having small aperture (120 mm) and wide field of view (greater than 1000 degree(2)) observing over 0.5-1 micron wavelength band. The telescopes are mounted on a common optical bench and are divided in four families with an overlapping line-of-sight in order to maximize the science return. In this paper, we will describe the detailed design of the Telescope Optical Units (TOUs) focusing on the selected optical configuration and the expected performances.

Journal/Review: PROCEEDINGS OF SPIE

Volume: 7731      Pages from: 773124  to: 773124

More Information: Each camera is made by an optical-mechanical unit (Telescope Optical Unit=TOU), and focal plane in which a mosaic of 4 CCDs is mounted. The TOUs optical design has been changed many times during the assessment phase and beyond as the science requirements were more and more refined. Briefly, the design has evolved from a catadioptric design through a 5 lenses fully-refractive system to a 6 lens fully-refractive system. In the following all the significant steps are described.
KeyWords: Space telescope; wide field camera; extra-solar planetary system
DOI: 10.1117/12.857237

Citations: 3
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