COMPET-05-2015 - Scientific exploitation of astrophysics, comets, and planetary data
Specific Challenge: Three specific areas of space science where there is a significant underinvestment when compared to the potential scientific return for Europe are the exploitation of astrophysics, comets, and planetary data.
Europe has an impressive track record in space astrophysics, comets and planetary research. Astrophysics missions such as XMM-Newton, Herschel or Planck, and in coming years Gaia, JUICE, EUCLID, CHEOPS or the James Webb Space Telescope are an opportunity for European researchers. The challenge will however be to allow the European astrophysics community to make the best possible use of those missions by supporting space astronomy observation proposals, using archived data, and making comparisons (including calibrations) between different missions, instruments, and between space and ground-based data. Likewise in comets research the challenge will be to allow the European astronomy community to make the best possible use of the current European mission to a comet (Rosetta), in combination with information from international (e.g. NASA, JAXA) missions and ground-based telescope observations. Europe has also a long experience and deep expertise in planetary missions such as Venus Express, or Cassini-Huygens. The utilisation of data set coming from European and international missions will allow the European planetary community to generate new knowledge and make the best use of past investments.
Scope: Astrophysics proposals shall make use of, or prepare for the use of ESA astrophysics missions, possible in combination with ground-based observations, and/or data from non-ESA missions (e.g. NASA, JAXA, or other national missions). Comets proposals shall prepare for and make use of the Rosetta mission, possibly in combination with ground-based observations, and/or data from non-ESA missions (e.g. NASA, JAXA, or other national missions). Planetary proposals shall make use of European missions and European instruments on-board international planetary missions and/or data from non-ESA missions (e.g. NASA, JAXA, or other national missions).
These activities shall add scientific value through advanced analysis of the data, leading to scientific publications and higher level data products which can be used by other scientists in their studies. This could be done in combination with the development of open source tools for processing and visualisation of astrophysics, comets or planetary data. Enhanced data products should be suitable for feeding back into the ESA archives.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge dedicated to astrophysics, comets or planetary data to be addressed appropriately, including through proposals from small teams. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Expected impact: A higher number of scientific publications based on Europe’s space data, high-level data products made available through appropriate archives, and tools developed for the advanced processing of data. Proposals are expected also to add value to existing activities on European and international levels, and enhance and broaden research partnerships.
Type of action: Research and innovation actions