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Far Infra-red Space Intereferometer Critical Assessment: Scientific Definition and Technology Development for the Next Generation THz Space Interferometer

Objective

For knowledge to progress in many aspects of astrophysics it is clear that we need to make observations at all wavelengths that at least match the spatial resolution achieved in the optical by the Hubble Space Telescope.
This is especially true in the Far Infra-Red waveband (FIR - 30-300 micron - where our atmosphere is opaque) where the necessity of space borne experiments combined with long wavelengths makes achieving high spatial resolution particularly difficult. At present FIR observations lie in a resolution gap of 2 orders of magnitude represented by the James-Webb Space telescope in the mid-infrared on one side and the ALMA interferometer, in the sub-mm, on the other. Only with the development of space borne interferometers can we hope to bridge this divide.
This project brings together the leading international experts on FIR space instrumentation and experienced astronomers in a unique collaborative effort to address the development needs of a high resolution FIR observatory through two major activities. Firstly to identify the scientific questions which require high spatial resolution observations in the FIR. We will translate these into the definition of an ambitious space mission and its associated key technologies.
At the same time we will study a number of technologies relevant to space interferometers which are at a low Technology Readiness Level. These include free-space beam combination with cryogenic delay lines, deployable low-mass telescopes, accurate satellite position measurement techniques and advanced ground calibration scenarios. We will develop these technologies through a consortium of universities, research establishments and industry which combine the best academic and industrial expertise.
The outcome of this work will advance the knowledge and technology required for a future FIR mission, consolidate the scientific community and bring world-wide expertise to the EU consortium. We will promote the results to a wider scientific community through a number of international workshops centred on the definition of a future FIR space mission.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/observational astronomy
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/observational astronomy/optical astronomy
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/astrophysics

Call for proposal

FP7-SPACE-2012-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project

Coordinator

UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 338 054
Administrative Contact
Martin Scott (Mr.)

Participants (8)

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 349 684,40
Address
Newport Road 30-36
CF24 ODE Cardiff
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Nick Bodycombe (Mr.)
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FACILITIES COUNCIL
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 143 726,25
Address
Polaris House North Star Avenue
SN2 1SZ Swindon
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Rob Ivison (Prof.)
GLYNDWR UNIVERSITY/PRIFYSGOL GLYNDWR
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 72 057,20
Address
Mold Road Plas Coch
LL11 2AW Wrexham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Stewart Milne (Mr.)
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND MAYNOOTH
Ireland
EU contribution
€ 161 180,40
Address
Co Kildare
W23 Maynooth
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
John Anthony Murphy (Prof.)
University of Lethbridge
Canada
EU contribution
€ 302 399,20
Address
4401 University Drive
T1K 3M4 Lethbridge
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Christine Picken (Ms.)
ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI ASTROFISICA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 85 359,60
Address
Viale Del Parco Mellini 84
00136 Roma
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Pietro Ubertini (Dr.)
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
France
EU contribution
€ 332 273,20
Address
Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Béatrice Saint-Cricq (Ms.)
ASSIST IN GRAVITATION AND INSTRUMENTATION (AGI) SRL
Italy
EU contribution
€ 211 851,60
Address
Via Del Fosso Del Cavaliere 100
00133 Roma
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Valerio Antonio Iafolla (Dr.)