PicSat - A nanosat for continuous photometric monitoring for the Bet Pic b transit window

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PicSat - A nanosat for continuous photometric monitoring for the Bet Pic b transit window

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 25th October 2016, 11:00 pm

Reaching sub-milimag photometric precision on Beta Pictoris with a nanosat: the PicSat mission
https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.07802

PicSat is a nanosatellite currently being developed to observe the transit of the giant planet \b{eta} Pictoris, expected some time between July 2017 and June 2018. The mission is based on a Cubesat architecture, with a small but ambitious 2 kg opto-mechanical payload specifically designed for high precision photometry. The satellite will be launched in early 2017, probably on a 600 km Sun synchronous orbit. The main objective of the mission is the constant monitoring of the brightness of Pic at an unprecedented combination of reliability and precision (200 ppm per hour, with interruptions of at most 30 minutes) to finely characterize the transiting exoplanet and detect exocomets in the Pictoris system. To achieve this difficult objective, the payload is designed with a 3.5 cm effective aperture telescope which injects the light in a single-mode optical fiber linked to an avalanche photodioode. A two-axis piezoelectric actuation system, driven by a tailor-made feedback loop control algorithm, is used to lock the fiber on the center of the star in the focal plane. These actuators complement the attitude determination and control system of the satellite to maintain the sub-arcsecond pointing accuracy required to reach the excellent level of photometric precision. Overall, the mission raises multiple very difficult challenges: high temperature stability of the avalanche detector (achieved with a thermoelectric colling device), high pointing accuracy and stability, and short timeframe for the development.

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Re: PicSat - A nanosat for continuous photometric monitoring for the Bet Pic b transit window

Post by Led_Zep on 30th October 2016, 7:10 am

Unfortunatly :

(Slide from Davos meeting this year)

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Re: PicSat - A nanosat for continuous photometric monitoring for the Bet Pic b transit window

Post by Lazarus on 30th October 2016, 8:13 am

The Hill sphere is not a dead loss if there is a J1407-like ring system there. The rather large radius inferred from the 1981 transit (2.34.0 Jupiter radii) may be evidence towards the presence of material in the Hill sphere.
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Re: PicSat - A nanosat for continuous photometric monitoring for the Bet Pic b transit window

Post by PlutonianEmpire on 31st October 2016, 6:36 pm

What about the proper motions? Are the mutual stellar orbits around the galaxy taking us closer or away from the line of transit? If we're moving closer, how long might it take to bring b's orbit into a transiting line of sight?

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Re: PicSat - A nanosat for continuous photometric monitoring for the Bet Pic b transit window

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