Logo for Ariel.

Mission Overview

ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey) will be devoted to observing spectroscopically in the infrared (IR) a large population (500) of known transiting planets in our Galaxy, opening a new discovery space in the field of extrasolar planets and enabling the understanding of the physics and chemistry of these far away worlds.
ARIEL is based on a 1 meter-class telescope and a spectrometer covering the band from 1.95 to 7.8 micron, in addition to photometric bands in the visible and in the near-IR to monitor the stellar activity, measure the albedo and detect clouds. This will allow us to constrain models of their internal structure and improve our understanding of how planets form and evolve. During its 3.5 years operations from an L2 orbit ARIEL will continuously observe exoplanets transiting their host star.
Exoplanetary science is a key science topic of our department, and it is being expanded further. Interests include habitable planets, star-planet interactions and atmospheric evolution, as well as planetary system stability.
We are proposing to develop, under the lead of the UCL/RAL in Great Britain, a near-infrared (0.8-11 m) spectrometer as a principal component of the payload.

Contribution of our Team

We will provide the flight software for the fine guidance sensor subsystem. The hardware will be built by Poland. Further contributions will be made to the ground segment and to various aspects of the principal science work packages.

Involved Personnel

Management, Science Lead: F. Kerschbaum, M. Güdel

Development Lead: R. Ottensamer

Consortium: F. Kerschbaum, M. Güdel (Co-PI), A. Luntzer, R. Ottensamer

Contributions: WP lead "FGS Software": R. Ottensamer; WP "Science", "Science Ground Segment"

Next important Milestones

One of three M4 candidates, selection expected in 2016

Launch Date: 2026




More information on Ariel can be found here.