Frost, far-infrared observation spectroscopy telescopes

Greta de Marco, Elise W. Knutsen, Carles Bolart, Mischa Breuhaus, Luis Estanqueiro, Cristoph Fröhlich, Maxim Guyot, Bela Hegyesi, Verneri Lauksio, Selina Howalt Owe, Olga Pinzón-Rodriguez, Oliver Price, Stephan Wagner, Ivan Zankof, Monika Ziebart, Elena López-Contreras

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This paper presents the mission concept for Far-infraRed Observation Spectroscopy Telescopes (FROST), a satellite mission dedicated to shedding light on the evolution of protoplanetary disks and planet formation. We target the inner disks around T-Tauri and Herbig Ae/Be stars, similar to the Sun before it reached the main sequence. FROST will be a three-part formation flying interferometer performing far-infrared spectroscopy in the wavelength range 40-200 µm. The satellite constellation consists of two light collecting spacecraft and one beam combining spacecraft, where each light collecting spacecraft is equipped with a 2 m mirror. FROST will be equipped with FIR interferometers coupled with a Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometer. From Lagrangian point L2 FROST will observe more than 78 pre-targeted disks with an angular resolution of up to 0.003'' and a resolving power of R = 1000 in order to detect shifts in silicate features in the disks emission spectra. FROST will provide information about the size distribution, structure and chemical composition of grains radially in the disk as well as dynamics and dust growth mechanisms. This paper explores the difficulties involved with such a concept and demonstrates its feasibility by making science-engineering trade-offs with regards to instrumentation and procedure. FROST is the result of a 15-student team effort at the Alpbach summer school of 2017. The main summer school organizers are FFG and ESA.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event70th International Astronautical Congress - Washington, United States
Duration: 21 Oct 201925 Oct 2019
Conference number: 70


Conference70th International Astronautical Congress
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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