Faculté des Sciences appliquées
Faculté des Sciences appliquées

Interferometric Small Sat to Observe Exoplanets

Di Bartolomeo, Samuel ULiège
Promotor(s) : Loicq, Jerôme ULiège ; Kerschen, Gaëtan ULiège
Date of defense : 26-Jun-2019/27-Jun-2019 • Permalink :
Title : Interferometric Small Sat to Observe Exoplanets
Author : Di Bartolomeo, Samuel ULiège
Date of defense  : 26-Jun-2019/27-Jun-2019
Advisor(s) : Loicq, Jerôme ULiège
Kerschen, Gaëtan ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Habraken, Serge ULiège
Defrere, Denis ULiège
Bruls, Olivier ULiège
Language : English
Keywords : [en] observation strategy
[en] space-based interferometry
[en] Small Sat
[en] orbit design
[en] exoplanet.
[en] occultation
Discipline(s) : Engineering, computing & technology > Aerospace & aeronautics engineering
Research unit : Centre Spatial de Liège
Target public : Researchers
Professionals of domain
General public
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en ingénieur civil en aérospatiale, à finalité spécialisée en "aerospace engineering"
Faculty: Master thesis of the Faculté des Sciences appliquées


[en] The search for life beyond our world necessarily involves the search for exoplanets with Earth-like characteristics. The progress of astrophysics now makes it possible to search for po- tentially habitable planets outside the solar system. This is especially achieved by looking for biological signatures in the spectral footprint of planetary atmospheres. This quest is considered to be one of the main objectives of modern astrophysics and exoplanetology.
The scientific community’s interest in exoplanet research has increased in recent years, par- ticularly in direct observation techniques, such as nulling interferometry, which allows exoplan- ets to be detected and resolved directly from their host star. After failing to develop large-scale space-based interferometry missions in the early 2000s, the first task would be to prove the feasibility of this technique in space. This thesis focuses on a Small Sat platform that could achieve this objective of a technological demonstrator. Besides, the mission also has a scientific objective which is to observe the 5 nearest stellar systems that host exoplanets.
This paper focuses on the observation strategy of the proposed platform and in particular on the observation possibilities provided by several orbits. Simulations are carried out for a whole year and the visibility performance of each orbit is studied. These analyses will allow an optimal design mission by maximizing the use of the platform by avoiding as much as possible the occultation times of the targeted stars.



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  • Di Bartolomeo, Samuel ULiège Université de Liège > Master ingé. civ. aérospat., à fin.


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