Ariel: Enabling planetary science across light-years

Giovanna Tinetti, Paul Eccleston, Carole Haswell, Pierre-Olivier Lagage, Jérémy Leconte, Theresa Lüftinger, Giusi Micela, Michel Min, Göran Pilbratt, Ludovic Puig, Mark Swain, Leonardo Testi, Diego Turrini, Bart Vandenbussche, Maria Rosa Zapatero Osorio, Anna Aret, Jean-Philippe Beaulieu, Lars Buchhave, Martin Ferus, Matt GriffinManuel Guedel, Paul Hartogh, Pedro Machado, Giuseppe Malaguti, Enric Pallé, Mirek Rataj, Tom Ray, Ignasi Ribas, Robert Szabó, Jonathan Tan, Stephanie Werner, Francesco Ratti, Carsten Scharmberg, Jean-Christophe Salvignol, Nathalie Boudin, Jean-Philippe Halain, Martin Haag, Pierre-Elie Crouzet, Ralf Kohley, Kate Symonds, Florian Renk, Andrew Caldwell, Manuel Abreu, Gustavo Alonso, Jerome Amiaux, Michel Berthé, Georgia Bishop, Neil Bowles, Manuel Carmona, Deirdre Coffey, Josep Colomé, Martin Crook, Lucile Désjonqueres, José J. Díaz, Rachel Drummond, Mauro Focardi, Jose M. Gómez, Warren Holmes, Matthijs Krijger, Zsolt Kovacs, Tom Hunt, Richardo Machado, Gianluca Morgante, Marc Ollivier, Roland Ottensamer, Emanuele Pace, Teresa Pagano, Enzo Pascale, Chris Pearson, Søren Møller Pedersen, Moshe Pniel, Stéphane Roose, Giorgio Savini, Richard Stamper, Peter Szirovicza, Janos Szoke, Ian Tosh, Francesc Vilardell, Joanna Barstow, Luca Borsato, Sarah Casewell, Quentin Changeat, Benjamin Charnay, Svatopluk Civiš, Vincent Coudé du Foresto, Athena Coustenis, Nicolas Cowan, Camilla Danielski, Olivier Demangeon, Pierre Drossart, Billy N. Edwards, Gabriella Gilli, Therese Encrenaz, Csaba Kiss, Anastasia Kokori, Masahiro Ikoma, Juan Carlos Morales, João Mendonça, Andrea Moneti, Lorenzo Mugnai, Antonio García Muñoz, Ravit Helled, Mihkel Kama, Yamila Miguel, Nikos Nikolaou, Isabella Pagano, Olja Panic, Miriam Rengel, Hans Rickman, Marco Rocchetto, Subhajit Sarkar, Franck Selsis, Jonathan Tennyson, Angelos Tsiaras, Olivia Venot, Krisztián Vida, Ingo P. Waldmann, Sergey Yurchenko, Gyula Szabó, Rob Zellem, Ahmed Al-Refaie, Javier Perez Alvarez, Lara Anisman, Axel Arhancet, Jaume Ateca, Robin Baeyens, John R. Barnes, Taylor Bell, Serena Benatti, Katia Biazzo, Maria Błęcka, Aldo Stefano Bonomo, José Bosch, Diego Bossini, Jeremy Bourgalais, Daniele Brienza, Anna Brucalassi, Giovanni Bruno, Hamish Caines, Simon Calcutt, Tiago Campante, Rodolfo Canestrari, Nick Cann, Giada Casali, Albert Casas, Giuseppe Cassone, Christophe Cara, Manuel Carmona, Ludmila Carone, Nathalie Carrasco, Quentin Changeat, Paolo Chioetto, Fausto Cortecchia, Markus Czupalla, Katy L. Chubb, Angela Ciaravella, Antonio Claret, Riccardo Claudi, Claudio Codella, Maya Garcia Comas, Gianluca Cracchiolo, Patricio Cubillos, Vania Da Peppo, Leen Decin, Clemence Dejabrun, Elisa Delgado-Mena, Anna Di Giorgio, Emiliano Diolaiti, Caroline Dorn, Vanessa Doublier, Eric Doumayrou, Georgina Dransfield, Luc Dumaye, Emma Dunford, Antonio Jimenez Escobar, Vincent Van Eylen, Maria Farina, Davide Fedele, Alejandro Fernández, Benjamin Fleury, Sergio Fonte, Jean Fontignie, Luca Fossati, Bernd Funke, Camille Galy, Zoltán Garai, Andrés García, Alberto García-Rigo, Antonio Garufi, Giuseppe Germano Sacco, Paolo Giacobbe, Alejandro Gómez, Arturo Gonzalez, Francisco Gonzalez-Galindo, Davide Grassi, Caitlin Griffith, Mario Giuseppe Guarcello, Audrey Goujon, Amélie Gressier, Aleksandra Grzegorczyk, Tristan Guillot, Gloria Guilluy, Peter Hargrave, Marie-Laure Hellin, Enrique Herrero, Matt Hills, Benoit Horeau, Yuichi Ito, Niels Christian Jessen, Petr Kabath, Szilárd Kálmán, Yui Kawashima, Tadahiro Kimura, Antonín Knížek, Laura Kreidberg, Ronald Kruid, Diederik J. M. Kruijssen, Petr Kubelík, Luisa Lara, Sebastien Lebonnois, David Lee, Maxence Lefevre, Tim Lichtenberg, Daniele Locci, Matteo Lombini, Alejandro Sanchez Lopez, Andrea Lorenzani, Ryan MacDonald, Laura Magrini, Jesus Maldonado, Emmanuel Marcq, Alessandra Migliorini, Darius Modirrousta-Galian, Karan Molaverdikhani, Sergio Molinari, Paul Mollière, Vincent Moreau, Giuseppe Morello, Gilles Morinaud, Mario Morvan, Julianne I. Moses, Salima Mouzali, Nariman Nakhjiri, Luca Naponiello, Norio Narita, Valerio Nascimbeni, Athanasia Nikolaou, Vladimiro Noce, Fabrizio Oliva, Pietro Palladino, Andreas Papageorgiou, Vivien Parmentier, Giovanni Peres, Javier Pérez, Santiago Perez-Hoyos, Manuel Perger, Cesare Cecchi Pestellini, Antonino Petralia, Anne Philippon, Arianna Piccialli, Marco Pignatari, Giampaolo Piotto, Linda Podio, Gianluca Polenta, Giampaolo Preti, Theodor Pribulla, Manuel Lopez Puertas, Monica Rainer, Jean-Michel Reess, Paul Rimmer, Séverine Robert, Albert Rosich, Loic Rossi, Duncan Rust, Ayman Saleh, Nicoletta Sanna, Eugenio Schisano, Laura Schreiber, Victor Schwartz, Antonio Scippa, Bálint Seli, Sho Shibata, Caroline Simpson, Oliver Shorttle, N. Skaf, Konrad Skup, Mateusz Sobiecki, Sergio Sousa, Alessandro Sozzetti, Judit Šponer, Lukas Steiger, Paolo Tanga, Paul Tackley, Jake Taylor, Matthias Tecza, Luca Terenzi, Pascal Tremblin, Andrea Tozzi, Amaury Triaud, Loïc Trompet, Shang-Min Tsai, Maria Tsantaki, Diana Valencia, Ann Carine Vandaele, Mathieu Van der Swaelmen, Adibekyan Vardan, Gautam Vasisht, Allona Vazan, Ciro Del Vecchio, Dave Waltham, Piotr Wawer, Thomas Widemann, Paulina Wolkenberg, Gordon Hou Yip, Yuk Yung, Mantas Zilinskas, Tiziano Zingales, Paola Zuppella

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Abstract

The concept of a mission devoted to atmospheric characterization of exoplanets through transit spectroscopy was first considered in Europe in 2007, shortly after the DARWIN proposal submitted to ESA for the first Cosmic Vision call for L-class missions was rejected because of the need for further scientific and technical developments. Following the decision, both ESA (EP-RAT panel report, October 2010) and the Exoplanetary Community (Blue Dot Team – Barcelona conference, September 2009) started a discussion to define a roadmap for exoplanetary research.

Both groups concluded that an intermediate step was needed, both scientifically and technically, before the characterisation of Earth-like planets could be tackled, and recommended a transit spectroscopy mission as a first step to atmospheric characterisation. A short study was undertaken at ESTEC in the context of the ExoPlanet Roadmap Advisory Team mandate under the name ESM (Exoplanet Spectroscopy Mission). Following this study the Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory (EChO) was proposed and accepted for assessment phase study in the context of the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme M3 medium class mission opportunity. Although eventually not selected, the EChO study1 allowed further development of the technical building blocks and the science case for an eventual transit spectroscopy mission.
In response to the call for the next medium class opportunity, Cosmic Vision M4, a proposal was submitted in January 2015: the Atmospheric Remote-sensing InfraRed Large-survey (ARIEL). The mission was one of the three selected in June 2015 for study in a Phase 0/A, a competitive assessment phase2. ARIEL was eventually selected as M4 in March 2018, and went into Phase B1, the definition study phase. The name of the mission has been changed to Ariel after selection.
During Phase B1, the science case was studied in depth and consolidated under auspices of the Science Advisory Team, the bulk of the work being performed in a large number of science working groups in the Ariel Mission Consortium (AMC). The ESA Study Team and AMC reviewed the mission requirements, the technical design and analysis of the complete payload module (including telescope, instruments, guidance system and supporting infrastructure). The AMC developed an end-to-end performance simulator of the complete system. Two industrial contractors (Airbus Defence and Space, France and ThalesAlenia Space, France) reviewed the mission requirements, the technical design and analysis of the s/c and performed a programmatic analysis of the mission. Dedicated iterations were done in conjunction with both industrial and payload studies to harmonise the interfaces between the s/c and the payload, and to consolidate the payload accommodation. Recently the ESA Mission Adoption Review has successfully been concluded.
This definition study report presents a summary of the very large body of work that has been undertaken on the Ariel mission over the 30-month period of the Ariel definition phase. As such, it represents the contributions of a large number of parties (ESA, industry, institutes and universities from 17 ESA member states, NASA CASE team), encompassing a very large number of people.

The successful public Ariel: Science, Mission & Community 2020 workshop was held in ESTEC, Noordwijk, on 14-16 January 2020 (https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/ariel/conference-2020). Over 200 participants from 19 countries attended the conference which had the objectives to present the mission and its science asproposed for mission adoption, and involve the planetary and astrophysical community at large in the mission. Presentations and discussions addressed how Ariel can work in conjunction with other ground-based and space-based observatories to best further our knowledge of exoplanetary science.In the six years since Ariel was first conceived in 2014, the number of confirmed exoplanets has increased from ~1000 to over 4300, providing an ever more tantalising prospect of looking beyond our solar system and enabling planetary science across light years.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEuropean Space Agency
Number of pages137
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Report number: ESA/SCI(2020)1

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