Space Research 2016 - 2018 in Switzerland - SBFI

 
Space Research 2016 - 2018 in Switzerland - SBFI
Space Research
2016 – 2018
in Switzerland
Space Research 2016 - 2018 in Switzerland - SBFI


    Space Research 2016 – 2018 in Switzerland

    Report to the 42nd COSPAR Scientific Assembly
    Pasadena, CA, United States, 14 – 22 July 2018

    Editors: Nicolas Thomas (Univ. Bern) and Stephan Nyeki (PMOD/WRC)
    Layout: Stephan Nyeki

    Publication by the Swiss Committee on Space Research
    (Committee of the Swiss Academy of Sciences)

    Online copies available at:
    naturalsciences.ch/organisations/space_research/publications

    Edition: 1000, printed 2018
    Physics Institute, Univ. Bern, Bern, Switzerland

    Cover Page: The BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA) is one of a number of payloads
    onboard the BepiColombo mission to Mercury. The mission will launch from Kourou
    in 2018 on a 6-year flight before entering Mercury orbit. BELA will characterise and
    measure the figure, topography, and surface morphology of the planet with < 2 m
    precision. Image credits: BELA, Univ. Bern; BepiColombo spacecraft, ESA/ATG
    medialab; Mercury, NASA/JPL (Mariner 10 mission).
Space Research 2016 - 2018 in Switzerland - SBFI
Contents

Contents

1   Foreword                                                                                                                                                      3

2   Institutes and Observatories                                                                                                                                  4
    2.1    ISSI – International Space Science Institute. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
    2.2    ISDC ­– INTEGRAL Science Data Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
    2.3    CODE –­ Center for Orbit Determination in Europe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
    2.4    eSpace – EPFL Space Engineering Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
    2.5    SSA – International Space Situational Awareness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
    2.6    SSC – Swiss Space Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
    2.7    Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) at the Swiss Optical Ground Station and Geodynamics Obs. Zim-
           merwald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14

3   Swiss Space Missions                                                                                                                                        15
    3.1    CleanSpace One. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
    3.2    CHEOPS – Characterising ExOPlanet Satellite. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16

4   Space Access Technology                                                                                                                                     18
    4.1    ALTAIR – Air Launch Space Transportation Using an Automated Aircraft and an Innovative Rocket. . .  18

5   Astrophysics                                                                                                                                                19
    5.1    Gaia Variability Processing and Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
    5.2    POLAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20
    5.3    DAMPE – DArk Matter Particle Explorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
    5.4    LPF – LISA Pathfinder. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
    5.5    IBEX – Interstellar Boundary Explorer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  26
    5.6    Swiss Contribution to ATHENA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  27
    5.7    Swiss Contribution to Euclid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  28
    5.8    XARM – The Swiss Contribution to the X-ray Astronomy Recovery Mission. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  30
    5.9    XIPE – The X-Ray Imaging Polarimetry Explorer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  32
    5.10 eXTP – The Enhanced X-Ray Timing and Polarimetry Mission. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34
    5.11 SPICA – Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  35
    5.12 HERD – High Energy Radiation Detection Facility. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  36
    5.13 THESEUS – The Transient High Energy Sky and Early Universe Surveyor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  37

6   Solar Physics                                                                                                                                               38
    6.1    VIRGO – Variability of Irradiance and Global Oscillations on SoHO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  38
    6.2    Probing Solar X-Ray Nanoflares with NuSTAR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  39
    6.3    CLARA – Compact Lightweight Absolute Radiometer on NorSat-1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  40
    6.4    FLARECAST – Flare Likelihood and Region Eruption Forecasting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  42
    6.5    DARA – Digital Absolute Radiometer on PROBA-3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43
    6.6    STIX – Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-Rays Onboard Solar Orbiter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  44
    6.7    MiSolFA – The Micro Solar-Flare Apparatus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  45
    6.8    SPICE and EUI Instruments Onboard Solar Orbiter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  46
    6.9    JTSIM-DARA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  48

                                                                                                                                                                              1
Space Research 2016 - 2018 in Switzerland - SBFI
Contents

            7   Earth Observation, Remote Sensing                                                                                                                 50
                7.1    APEX – Airborne Prism Experiment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  50
                7.2    HYLIGHT – Integrated Use of Airborne Hyperspectral Imaging Data and Airborne Laser Scanning Data. . 51
                7.3    SPECCHIO – Spectral Information System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  52
                7.4    FLEX – FLuorescence EXplorer Mission. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  53
                7.5    Wet Snow Monitoring with Spaceborne SAR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  54
                7.6    Moving Target Tracking in SAR Images. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  56
                7.7    Calibration Targets for MetOp-SG Instruments MWS and ICI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  57
                7.8    EGSIEM – European Gravity Service for Improved Emergency Management. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  58
                7.9    Copernicus Precise Orbit Determination Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  60
                7.10 EMRP MetEOC-3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  62
                7.11 ARES – Airborne Research Facility for the Earth System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  63

            8   Comets, Planets                                                                                                                                   64
                8.1     ROSINA – Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  64
                8.2     Seismometer Instrument for the NASA InSight Mission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  66
                8.3     Investigation of the Chemical Composition of Lunar Soils (Luna-Glob and Luna-Resurs Missions). . . .  68
                8.4     Investigation of the Volatiles Contained in Lunar Soils (Luna-Resurs Mission). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  69
                8.5     CaSSIS – The Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  70
                8.6     SERENA/STROFIO on BepiColombo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  71
                8.7     BELA – BepiColombo Laser Altimeter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  72
                8.8     PEP – Particle Environment Package on JUICE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  74
                8.9     SWI – Submillimeter Wave Instrument on JUICE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  75
                8.10 CLUPI – CLose-Up Imager for ExoMars Rover 2020. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  76
                8.11 GALA – Ganymede Laser Altimeter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  78
                8.12 MiARD – Multi-Instrument Analysis of Rosetta Data. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  79

            9   Life Science                                                                                                                                      80
                9.1     Yeast Bioreactor Experiment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  80
                9.2     Calcium-Dependent Current Recordings During the 2nd Swiss Parabolic Flight Campaign. . . . . . . . . .  81
                9.3    Focal Adhesion Characterisation During Parabolic Flight Campaign. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  82

            10 Swiss Space Industries Group                                                                                                                       83

            11 Index of Authors                                                                                                                                   85

2
Space Research 2016 - 2018 in Switzerland - SBFI
Foreword

1       Foreword

The Committee on Space Research              the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO),      Looking further into the future, the
(COSPAR) is an interdisciplinary sci-        was launched in March 2016 and has        Swiss space community is eagerly
entific organisation which is focussed       recently reached its primary science      awaiting the operation of the first
on the exchange of information on            orbit. TGO carries the Swiss-led im-      Swiss research satellite: CHEOPS,
progress of all kinds of space re-           aging system, CaSSIS (Colour and          CHaracterizing ExOPlanet which was
search. It was established in 1958 by        Stereo Surface Imaging System),           selected by ESA as a small nationally-
the International Council for Science        which is now returning high resolu-       led mission. The mission will study
(ICSU) as a thematic organisation to         tion colour and stereo images of the      exoplanets using the transit method
promote scientific research in space on      surface of Mars in support of the         to determine radii and possibly the
an international level. COSPAR’s main        spectrometers designed to measure         atmospheric structure of previously
activity is the organisation of biennial     trace gases in the Martian atmosphere     detected exoplanets. CHEOPS was
Scientific Assemblies. On the occa-          (supplied by Belgium and Russia). The     adopted for construction in early 2014,
sion of the 42nd COSPAR Assembly             first colour observations from in-orbit   designed in the last two years, and
(Pasadena, USA) the Swiss National           show a highly performant imager           successfully passed the critical de-
Committee on Space Research takes            that can also support future landed       sign review, giving green light for con-
this opportunity to report on its activi-    missions. These will include NASA’s       struction of the flight hardware. The
ties to the international community.         InSight mission to Mars that will at-     instrument is now integrated on the
                                             tempt to detect “Marsquakes” for the      spacecraft, and the launch is currently
The majority of Swiss space research         first time. Switzerland has made a        scheduled for early 2019. This mission
activities are related to missions of the    contribution to the seismometer on        is of special interest and importance to
European Space Agency (ESA) and,             the spacecraft. Swiss contributions       the Swiss community as it is the first
therefore, ESA’s science programme           to the ExoMars Rover (launch 2020)        Swiss science satellite.
is of central importance to the Swiss        are also in development and indicate
science community. Within this pro-          Switzerland’s support for exploration     Finally, Switzerland led the hardware
gramme, Swiss scientists and their           of the Red Planet.                        development of Europe’s first inter-
industries have been extremely active                                                  planetary laser altimeter experiment,
in the past years and this is reflected in   Switzerland has also contributed to       BELA. This instrument will launch from
the diversity and depth of this report.      the success of LISA Pathfinder. The       Kourou in 2018 on a 6-year flight to
                                             recent detection of gravitational waves   Mercury where it will map the surface
The previous 2016 report was writ-           has given renewed impetus to the          with
Space Research 2016 - 2018 in Switzerland - SBFI
Institutes and Observatories

                                                 2       Institutes and Observatories

                                                 2.1     ISSI – International Space Science Institute

                                                  Fields of Research                          Realisations in 2016 and 2017

                                                 The ISSI programme covers a wide-           In total, 131 International Team meet-
                                                 spread spectrum of disciplines from         ings, 8 Workshops, 5 Working Group
                                                 the physics of the solar system and         meetings, and 5 Forums took place
                                                 planetary sciences to astrophysics          in the years 2016 and 2017. ISSI wel-
                                                 and cosmology, and from Earth sci-          comes about 950 visitors annually.
                                                 ences to astrobiology.
                                                                                             Furthermore, ISSI offers a unique
                                                  Introduction                               environment for facilitating and fos-
                                                                                             tering interdisciplinary Earth Science
                                                 ISSI is an Institute of Advanced Studies    research. Consequently ESA’s Earth
            Directors                            at which scientists from all over the       Observation Programme Directorate
                                                 world are invited to work together          entered a contractual relationship
            R. Rodrigo (Executive Director)      to analyse, compare and interprete          with ISSI in 2008 to facilitate the
            A. Cazenave                          their data. Space scientists, theorists,    synergistic analysis of projects of the
            R. von Steiger                       modellers, ground-based observers           International Polar Year, International
            J. Wambsganss                        and laboratory researchers meet at          Living Planet Teams, Workshops and
            J. Geiss (Honorary Director)         ISSI to formulate interdisciplinary in-     Forums. The contract with the ESA
                                                 terpretations of experimental data and      Earth Science Directorate with ISSI
            Staff                                observations. Therefore, the scientists     has been extended until 2020.
                                                 are encouraged to pool their data and
            10 Scientific                        results. The conclusions of these activi-   ISSI jointly established with the
            6 Administrative                     ties - published in several journals or     National Space Science Center of
                                                 books - are expected to help identify       the Chinese Academy of Sciences
            Board of Trustees                    the scientific requirements of future       (NSSC/CAS) a branch called ISSI-
                                                 space science projects. ISSI’s study        BJ (International Space Science
            G. Meylan (Chair), École             projects on specific scientific themes      Institute – Beijing) in 2013. ISSI-BJ
            Polytechnique Fédérale de            are selected in consultation with the       shares the same Science Committee
            Lausanne, Switzerland                Science Committee members and               with ISSI and uses the same study
                                                 other advisers.                             tools. Since 2014, ISSI has released
            Science Committee                                                                together with ISSI-BJ an annual joint
                                                 ISSI’s operation mode is fivefold:          Call for Proposals for International
            M. Mandea (Chair),                   International Teams, multi- and in-         Teams in Space and Earth Sciences.
            CNES, Paris, France                  terdisciplinary Workshops, Working
                                                 Groups, Visiting Scientists and             ISSI is also a part of the Europlanet
            Contact Information                  Forums are the working tools of ISSI.       2020 Research Infrastructure (RI) proj-
                                                                                             ect. Europlanet 2020 RI addresses key
            International Space Science          The European Space Agency (ESA),            scientific and technological challenges
            Institute (ISSI)                     the Swiss Confederation, and the            facing modern planetary science by
            Hallerstrasse 6                      Swiss Academy of Sciences (SC NAT)          providing open access to state-of-the-
            CH-3012 Bern                         provide the financial resources for         art research data, models and facilities
            Switzerland                          ISSI’s operation. The Univ. Bern con-       across the European Research Area.
                                                 tributes through a grant to the Director    ISSI is a participant in the Europlanet
            Tel.: +41 31 631 48 96               and in-kind facilities. The Space           Activity called "Innovation through
            Fax: +41 31 631 48 97                Research Inst. (IKI, RAS, Russia) and       science networking" and is working
                                                 the lnst. of Space and Astronautical        together with eight other Europlanet
            www.issibern.ch                      Sci. (ISAS, JAXA, Japan) support ISSI       institutes to organise three Workshops
            e-mail: firstname.name@issibern.ch   with an annual financial contribution.      and two strategic Forums over the

4
Space Research 2016 - 2018 in Switzerland - SBFI
Institutes and Observatories

duration of the contract which will ad-     978-1-4939-3549-9, 2016.                   results in an interactive open-access
dress some of the major scientific and                                                 journal of the European Geosciences
technical challenges of present-day         SSSI Volume 55: Remote Sensing             Union: https://www.atmos-chem-
planetary sciences. Europlanet 2020         and Water Resources, A. Cazenave,          phys.net/special_issue11_192.html.
RI will run until 2019.                     N. Champollion, J. Benveniste, J.
                                            Chen (Eds.), ISBN 978-3-319-32448-         On average, the International Teams
All scientific activities result in some    7, 2016.                                   publish over 200 peer-reviewed pa-
form of publication, e.g. in ISSI’s hard-                                              pers per year. All results, published
cover book series Space Sciences            Volume 58: Integrative Study of the        papers, and books can be found in
Series of ISSI (SSSI), ISSI Scientific      Mean Sea Level and its Components,         ISSI’s Annual Reports 21 (2015–2016)
Report Series (SR), both published          A. Cazenave, N. Champollion, F. Paul,      and 22 (2016–2017), which are avail-
by Springer or individual papers in         J. Benveniste (Eds.), ISBN 978-3-319-      able online (http://www.issibern.ch/
peer-reviewed international scientific      56490-6, 2017.                             publications/ar.html).
journals. As at the end of 2017, 58
volumes of SSSI, and 15 volumes of          SSSI Volume 59: Dust Devils, D.
SR have been published. Information         Reiss, R. Lorenz, M. Balme, L.              Outlook
about the complete collection can be        Neakrase, A.P. Rossi, A. Spiga, J.
found on ISSI’s website: www.issibern.      Zarnecki (Eds.), ISBN 978-94-024-          T h i r t y- o n e n ew I nte r n ati o n a l
ch, in the section "Publications".          1133-1, 2017.                              Teams , approved in 2017 by the
                                                                                       Science Committee, are starting their
                                            SSSI Volume 60: Earth's Magnetic           activities in the 23rd business year
 Publications                               Field: Understanding Geomagnetic           (2017/18). In addition, six Workshops
                                            Sources from the Earth's Interior and      will take place in the 23rd business
The following new volumes appeared          its Environment, C. Stolle, N. Olsen, A.   year:
in 2016 and 2017:                           D. Richmond, H. Opgenoorth (Eds.),
                                            ISBN 978-94-024-1224-6, 2017.              - Space-Based Measurement of
SSSI Volume 48: Helioseismology and                                                    Forest Properties for Carbon Cycle
Dynamics of the Solar Interior, M. J.                                                  Research.
Thompson, A. S. Brun, J. L. Culhane,         Scientific Reports
L. Gizon, M. Roth, T Sekii (Eds.), ISBN                                                - Clusters of Galaxies: Physics and
978-94-024-1033-4, 2017.                    Volume 14: Inventing a Space Mission       Cosmology.
                                            − The Story of the Herschel Space
SSSI Volume 51: Multi-Scale                 Observatory, V. Minier, R.M. Bonnet,       - Comets: Post 67P Perspectives (in
Structure Formation and Dynamics            V. Bontems, T. de Graauw, M. Griffin,      Collaboration with MiARD).
in Cosmic Plasmas, A. Balogh, A.            F. Helmich, G. Pilbratt, S. Volonte,
Bykov, J. Eastwood, J. Kaastra (Eds.),      Results of an ISSI Working Group,          - Role of Sample Return in Addressing
ISBN 978-1-4939-3546-8, 2016.               ISBN 978-3-319-60023-9, 2017.              Major Outstanding Questions in
                                                                                       Planetary Sciences (In Collaboration
SSSI Volume 52: Plasma Sources              Volume 16: Air Pollution in Eastern        with Europlanet).
of Solar System Magnetospheres,             Asia: An Integrated Perspective, I.
A. F. Nagy, M. Blanc, C. Chappell,          Bouarar, X. Wang, G.P. Brasseur            - Understanding the Relationship be-
N. Krupp (Eds), ISBN 978-1-4939-            (Eds.), Results of an ISSI Team, ISBN      tween Coastal Sea Level and Large-
3543-7, 2016.                               978-3-319-59488-0, 2017.                   Scale Ocean Circulation.

SSSI Volume 54: The Strongest                Other Publications                        - ExoOceans: Space Exploration of
Magnetic Fields in the Universe, V.                                                    the Outer Solar System Icy Moons
S. Beskin, A. Balogh, M. Falanga,           The Working Group "Carbon Cycle            Oceans (in Collaboration with
M. Lyutikov, S. Mereghetti, T.              Data Assimilation" led by M. Scholze       ESSC-ESF).
Piran, R. A. Treumann (Eds.), ISBN          and M. Heimann published all their

                                                                                                                                         5
Space Research 2016 - 2018 in Switzerland - SBFI
Institutes and Observatories

                                                     2.2    ISDC ­– INTEGRAL Science Data Centre

            Institute                                 Purpose of Research                      Past Achievements and Status

            Dept. Astronomy,                         The INTEGRAL Science Data Centre         INTEGRAL was launched in October
            Univ. Geneva (UNIGE)                     (ISDC) was established in 1996 as        2002 and its data are not only used
                                                     a consortium of 11 European insti-       for papers and PhD theses (more than
            In Cooperation with:                     tutes and NASA. It has a central role    100 at present), but also as a near-
                                                     in the ground-segment activities of      real time monitor: several astronomical
            European Space Agency                    ESA’s INTernational Gamma-Ray            telegrams per month are published
            German Aerospace Center                  Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL).      and, every second day, an automatic
            Istituto Nazionale di Astro., Italy      INTEGRAL operates a hard-X-ray im-       alert for a gamma-ray burst (GRB) is
            APC, France                              ager with a wide field-of-view, a gam-   sent to robotic telescopes within sec-
            CNRS, France                             ma-ray polarimeter, a radiation moni-    onds of the detection so that GRBs
            DTU Space, Denmark                       tor, and X-ray and optical monitors      can be localised.
            Centro de Astrobiología, Spain           which have significantly advanced our
                                                     knowledge of high-energy astrophys-      INTEGRAL carries the most sensitive
            Prinicipal Investigator                  ical phenomena. INTEGRAL's ground        all-sky monitor for GRBs without a
                                                     segment activities are divided into      localisation capability, and is an es-
            C. Ferrigno (UNIGE)                      Mission Operation Center, Science        sential tool to discover a gamma-ray
                                                     Operation Center (both operated by       counterpart of a gravitational wave
            Method                                   ESA), and ISDC which is a PI partner     event (Savchenko et al., 2016; 2017).
                                                     of the mission and provides essential    ISDC staff led the Memorandum of
            Measurement                              services for the astronomical com-       Understanding with both the LIGO sci-
                                                     munity to exploit mission data.          entific and Virgo collaborations to look
            Developments                                                                      for gamma-ray counterparts of gravi-
                                                     ISDC processes spacecraft telem-         tational wave events. The INTEGRAL
            Data from the INTEGRAL gamma-ray         etry to generate a set of widely us-     team has produced stringent upper
            space observatory are processed,         able products, as well as performing     limits on all but one double black-hole
            archived and distributed to scientists   a quick-look analysis to assess the      mergers detected by LIGO and de-
            worldwide together with the software     data quality and discover transient      tected, together with the gamma-ray
            to analyse them. Quick-look and au-      astronomical events. Data are distrib-   monitor onboard the Fermi obser-
            tomated analyses ensure the data         uted to guest observers and archived     vatory, a flash of gamma-rays two
            quality and the discovery of relevant    at ISDC which is the only complete       seconds after the arrival on Earth of
            astronomical events.                     source of INTEGRAL data. ISDC            gravitational waves, originating as a
                                                     also has the task of integrating and     result of a binary neutron star merger
            Staff                                    distributing software for the offline    (Savchenko et al., 2017). This historical
                                                     analysis of INTEGRAL data together       achievement has opened the era of
            About 10 scientists and software         with handbooks, and of giving sup-       multi-messenger astronomy with the
            engineers, including administrative/     port to users. Only as a result of the   subsequent observation of a kilonova
            support staff.                           ISDC contribution are INTEGRAL           in the optical, X-ray, and radio bands.
                                                     data available to the astronomy
            Contact Information                      community.                               ESA has conducted reviews in 2010,
                                                                                              2012, 2014, and 2016, and concluded
            INTEGRAL Science Data Centre,            The presence of the ISDC has guar-       that fuel consumption, solar panel and
            Astronomical Obs., Univ. Geneva,         anteed Swiss scientists a central        battery ageing, and orbital evolution
            CH-1290 Versoix, Switzerland             role in the exploitation of INTEGRAL     will allow the mission to be prolonged
            Tel.: +41 22 379 21 00                   data. To date, ISDC members have         for many more years. In 2018, an
            Fax: +41 22 379 21 33                    participated in about 20% of the         operational review will ascertain the
            www.isdc.unige.ch/integral               nearly 3000 publications based on        reliability of INTEGRAL for the next
            E-mail : isdc@unige.ch                   INTEGRAL data.                           extension (2019 – 2020), for which the

6
Space Research 2016 - 2018 in Switzerland - SBFI
Institutes and Observatories

budget has already been approved by          high-energy astrophysics with particle             and accretion power in a binary mil-
the ESA SPC. Further extensions will         physics, astroparticle physics is rapidly          lisecond pulsar, Nature, 501, 7468,
be based on the scientific output of         developing around ISDC. Its central                517–520.
the missions and budget constraints.         topics are the nature of dark matter
                                             and dark energy, the origin of cosmic        2. Savchenko, V., C. Ferrigno et al.,
ISDC is an essential pillar of the mission   rays and astrophysical particle accel-          (2016), INTEGRAL upper limits on
and is currently funded by the Swiss         erators. Research in this field involves        gamma-ray emission associated
Space Office, the University of Geneva,      data from X-ray and gamma-ray space             with the gravitational wave event
and ESA, with contributions from the         telescopes, as well as from ground-             GW150914, Astrophys. J. Lett.,
German Aerospace Center through              based gamma-ray telescopes operat-              820(2), L36, 5 pp.
the Inst. Astronomy and Astrophysics,        ing at even higher energies, such as
Tübingen. ISDC counts on the contri-         MAGIC, HESS or the future Cherenkov          3. Savchenko, V., C. Ferrigno et al.,
bution of about 10 software engineers        Telescope array.                                (2017), INTEGRAL detection of
and scientists who work in synergy                                                           the first prompt gamma-ray signal
with other space missions within the          Publications                                   coincident with the gravitational-
Dept. Astronomy, Univ. Geneva.                                                               wave event GW170817, Astrophys.
                                             1. Papitto, A., C. Ferrigno, E. Bozzo et        J. Lett., 848(2), L15, 8 pp.
To ensure data quality and to exploit the       al., (2013), Swings between rotation
potential of the INTEGRAL observa-
tory, ISDC staff continuously performs
scientific validations to report relevant
"hot" discoveries in collaboration with
guest observers. Several astronomer's
telegrams, led by ISDC staff, are highly
cited, and illustrate the importance of
these discoveries. During this activity,
INTEGRAL managed to capture the
first pulsar swinging from accretion
and rotation powered emission, which
has been sought since evolutionary
theories first appeared in 1982 (Papitto
et al., 2013).

The studies performed at ISDC are                                       MOC, Darmstadt
                                                    Observation                                              Telemetry data
mainly in the field of high-energy astro-           plan
physics. Although a significant fraction
of the research topics are linked to ar-                                         Feedback
eas in which INTEGRAL makes a sig-
nificant contribution, a variety of other                                      Auxiliary data
                                                  ISOC, Madrid                                        ISDC, Geneva
observation facilities, such as XMM-
Newton, RXTE, Chandra, Planck, and                    Observing                                             Processed data
Fermi, have so far been exploited. The                proposals
science topics developed in the high-
energy group span from nearby X-ray
binaries up to cosmological scales,                                         Science
with the study of active galactic nuclei                                    Community
and clusters of galaxies.

Based on an approach merging                    Schematic view of the INTEGRAL ground segment activities.

                                                                                                                                             7
Space Research 2016 - 2018 in Switzerland - SBFI
Institutes and Observatories

                                               2.3     CODE –­ Center for Orbit Determination in Europe

                                                Purpose of Research                       center following this approach. In
                                                                                          the meanwhile, other IGS analysis
                                               Using measurements from Global             centers have started to follow this
                                               Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)        strategy as well.
                                               is (among many other applications)
                                               well established for the realisation of    In a seperate processing line, a fully
                                               the global reference frame, the in-        integrated five-system solution has
                                               vestigation of the system Earth, or        developed, including the established
                                               the precise geolocation of Low Earth       GNSS, GPS and GLONASS but also
                                               Orbiting (LEO) satellites in space. To     the currently developed systems,
            Institute                          support the scientific use and the de-     namely the European Galileo, the
                                               velopment of GNSS data analysis,           Chinese BeiDou, and the Japanese
            Astronomical Institute,            the International GNSS Service (IGS)       QZSS. The resulting solution is gen-
            Univ. Bern (AIUB), Bern            was established by the International       erated in the frame of the IGS multi-
                                               Association of Geodesy (IAG) in 1994.      GNSS extension (IGS MGEX).
            In Cooperation with:
                                               CODE is one of the leading global           Past Achievements and Status
            Bundesamt für Landestopographie    analysis centers of the IGS. It is a
            (swisstopo), Wabern, Switzerland   joint venture of the Astronomical          The main products are: i) precise GPS
                                               Institute of the University of Bern        and GLONASS orbits, ii) satellite and
            Bundesamt f. Kart. u. Geodäsie     (AIUB), Bern, Switzerland, the             receiver clock corrections, iii) station
            (BKG), Frankfurt a. M., Germany    Bundesamt für Landestopographie            coordinates, iv) Earth orientation
                                               (swisstopo), Wabern, Switzerland,          parameters, v) troposphere zenith
            IAPG, Technische Universität       the Bundesamt für Kartographie             path delays, and vi) maps of the to-
            München, Germany                   und Geodäsie (BKG), Frankfurt              tal ionospheric electron content. The
                                               a.M., Germany, and the Institute of        coordinates of the global IGS tracking
            Principal/Swiss Investigator       Astronomical and Physical Geodesy          network are computed on a daily ba-
                                               (IAPG) of the Technische Universität       sis for studying vertical and horizontal
            R. Dach (AIUB)                     München, Munich, Germany. Since            site displacements and plate motions,
                                               the early pilot phase of the IGS (21       and to provide information for the re-
            Co-Investigators                   June 1992) CODE has been running           alisation of the International Terrestrial
                                               continuously. The operational pro-         Reference Frame (ITRF). The daily
            A. Jäggi (AIUB)                    cessing is located at AIUB using the       positions of the Earth's rotation axis
            E. Brockmann (swisstopo)           Bernese GNSS Software package              with respect to the Earth's crust as
            D. Thaller (BKG)                   that is developed and maintained at        well as the exact length-of-day, is de-
            U. Hugentobler (IAPG)              AIUB for many years.                       termined each day and provided to
                                                                                          the International Earth Rotation and
            Method                             Nowadays, data from about 250 glob-        Reference Systems Service (IERS).
                                               ally distributed IGS tracking stations
            Measurement                        are processed every day in a rigorous      Apart from regularly generated prod-
                                               combined multi-GNSS (currently the         ucts, CODE significantly contributes
            Res. Based on Existing Instrs.     American Global Positioning System         to the development and improvement
                                               (GPS) and the Russian counterpart          of modelling standards. Members
            GNSS data analysis and software    GLONASS) processing system of all          of the CODE group contribute or
            development.                       IGS product lines (with different laten-   chair different IGS working groups,
                                               cies). CODE started with the inclusion     e.g., the working group on Bias and
            Website                            of GLONASS in its regular processing       Calibration and the antennae working
                                               scheme back in May 2003. For five          group. With the ongoing modernisa-
            www.aiub.unibe.ch                  years it has been the only analysis        tion programmes of the established

8
Institutes and Observatories

GNSS and the upcoming GNSS,                          Abbreviations                                     Publications
e.g., the European Galileo, such
work is highly relevant because of                  CODE             Center for Orbit 		             A list of recent publications is avail-
the increasing manifold of signals that                              Determination in Europe         able at:
need to be consistently processed in                GNSS             Global Nav. Satellite Sys.
a fully combined multi-GNSS analy-                  GPS              Global Positioning System       www.bernese.unibe.ch
sis scheme. Other contributions from                GLONASS          Globalnaja Nawigazionnaja
CODE are the derivation of calibration                               Sputnikowaja Sistema
values for the GNSS satellite antenna               IGS              Int. GNSS Service
phase center model, GLONASS am-                     ITRF             Int. Terrestrial Ref. Frame
biguity resolution, and the refinement              LEO              Low Earth Orbit
of the CODE orbit model.                            QZSS             Quasi-Zenith Satellite Sys.

                             94      96   98   00          02       04          06         08         10         12     14       16

                        80   GPS
                             GLONASS
                        70   Galileo
                             BeiDou
                        60   QZSS
                             Total
 Number of satellites

                        50

                        40

                        30

                        20

                        10

                         0
                                  50000         52000                          54000                          56000                   58000
                                                                                MJD
                                               Number of satellites in the operational orbit files provided by CODE.

                                                                                                                                                    9
Institutes and Observatories

                                            2.4     eSpace – EPFL Space Engineering Center

                                             Mission                                    projects and fundamental research.
                                                                                        The center coordinates the minor in
                                            The EPFL Space Engineering Center           Space Technologies which allows
                                            (eSpace) shall contribute to space          master-level students to acquire exten-
                                            knowledge and exploration by provid-        sive formal teaching in the field. These
                                            ing world-class education, leading          theoretical classes are complemented
                                            space technology developments, co-          by hands-on multidisciplinary projects
                                            ordinating multi-disciplinary learning      which often lead to the construction
                                            projects and taking EPFL's laboratory       of real hardware (e.g. SwissCube, with
                                            research to space.                          ~200 students involved).

                                                                                        The center possesses expertise
                                             Vision                                     particularly in the field of system en-
                                                                                        gineering, including Muriel Richard-
                                            To establish EPFL as a world re-            Noca and Anton Ivanov as part of its
                                            nowned Center of Excellence in              senior staff, two experienced scien-
                                            Space Engineering, and creating in-         tists who worked at NASA-JPL prior
                                            telligent space systems in service to       to joining EPFL. eSpace also relies
                                            humankind.                                  on close collaborations with research
                                                                                        laboratories and institutes at EPFL.

                                             Description                                In many cases, the research and
                                                                                        development activities performed
                                            The Space Engineering Center (eS-           are carried out directly within these
                                            pace) is an interdisciplinary entity with   entities, with support or coordination
                                            the mission of promoting space related      from eSpace. In this way, the center
                                            research and development at EPFL.           can lean on an extensive knowledge
            Institute                       eSpace was created in 2014 following        base and state-of-the-art research
                                            a restructuring of the "Swiss Space         in a number of areas, ranging from
            EPFL Space Engineering Center   Center". eSpace is active in three          robotics to computer vision, and help
            (eSpace)                        key areas: education, development           take these technologies to space.

            Director

            J.-P. Kneib
                                                                                                     hands on
                                                           exploratory                               learning
            Staff                                             projects           education           projects

            5 Scientific, 1 Admin.

            Contact Information

            EPFL Space Engineering Center                          research                       flight
            EPFL – ENT – ESC, Station 13                           at epfl                        projects
            CH-1015 Lausanne
            Tel: +41 (0) 21 693 6948
            Fax: +41 (0) 21 693 6940
            email: espace@epfl.ch                                             technology
            URL: http://eSpace.epfl.ch                                        demonstrations

10
Institutes and Observatories

2.5      SSA – International Space Situational Awareness

 Purpose of Research                          by KIAM using the ISON telescopes,
                                              and the data from the AIUB/DLR
The central aim of Space Situational          SMARTnet sensor network, provide
Awareness is to acquire information           the data to maintain orbit catalogues
about natural and artificial objects in       of high-altitude space debris. These
Earth's orbit. The growing number             catalogues enable follow-up observa-
of so-called space debris - artificial        tions to further investigate the physi-
non-functional objects - results in an        cal properties of the debris and to
increasing threat to operational satel-       eventually discriminate sources of
lites and manned spaceflight.                 small-size debris. Results from this
                                              research are used as key input data        Graphical representation of the space debris population of
Research in this domain aims at a             for the European ESA meteoroid             objects >10 cm as seen from 15 Earth radii (ESA).
better understanding of the near              and space debris reference model
Earth environment: i) through extend-         MASTER. The AIUB telescopes con-                                             Institute
ing the catalogues of “known” space           stitute primary optical sensors in the
objects toward smaller sizes, ii) by          ESA Space Situational Awareness            Astron. Inst. Univ. Bern (AIUB), Bern
acquiring statistical orbit information       preparatory programme.
on small-size objects in support of                                                                       In Cooperation with:
statistical environment models, and            Publications
iii) by characterising objects to as-                                                          European Space Agency (ESA)
sess their nature and to identify the         1. Šilha, J., J.-N. Pit tet, T.                      Keldish Institute of Applied
sources of space debris.                         Schildknecht, M. Hamara, (2018),               Mathematics (KIAM), Moscow
                                                 Apparent rotation properties                   International Scientific Optical
The research is providing the scien-             of space debris extracted from                  Observation Network (ISON)
tific rationale to devise efficient space        photometric measurements, Adv.                DLR/German Space Operation
debris mitigation and remediation                Space Res., 61, 844-861, https://                             Center (GSOC)
measures enabling sustainable outer              doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2017.10.048
space activities.                                                                                      Principal Investigators
                                              2. Šilha, J., T. Schildknecht, A. Hinze,
 Past Achievements and Status                    T. Flohrer, A. Vananti, (2017), An                       T. Schildknecht (AIUB)
                                                 optical survey for space debris
This is an ongoing international col-            on highly eccentric and inclined                              Co-Investigators
laboration between the Astronomical              MEO orbits, Adv. Space Res. 59,
Institute of the University of Bern              181-192, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.       I. Molotov (KIAM), H. Fiedler (DLR)
(AIUB), the Keldish Institute of Applied         asr.2016.08.027
Mathematics (KIAM), Moscow, ESA,                                                                                           Method
and DLR. Optical surveys per-                 3. Vananti, A., T. Schildknecht, H.
formed by AIUB using its ZIMLAT                  Krag, (2017), Reflectance spec-                    Measurement, Compilation
and ZimSMART telescopes at the                   troscopy characterization of space
Zimmerwald Observatory and the                   debris, Adv. Space Res. 59, 2488-                                Observatories
ESA telescope in Tenerife on behalf of           2500, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.
ESA as well as the surveys performed             asr.2017.02.033                                      Zimmerwald, Switzerland
                                                                                                       Sutherland, South Africa
 Abbreviations                                                                                                   ESA, Tenerife
                                                                                                              ISON telescopes
SSA             Space Situational Awareness
SMARTnet        SMall Aperture Robotic Telescope network                                                                   Website
ZIMLAT          Zimmerwald Laser and Astrometry Telescope
ZimSMART        Zimmerwald SMall Aperture Robotic Telescope                                                   www.aiub.unibe.ch

                                                                                                                                                  11
Institutes and Observatories

                                                2.6     SSC – Swiss Space Center

                                                 Mission                                         Members

                                                The Swiss Space Center (SSC) pro-              In 2017, the Swiss Space Center wel-
                                                vides a service supporting institu-            comed four new industrial members
                                                tions, academia and industry to                (Synopta, MPS, Picterra, and Thales
                                                access space missions and related              Alenia Space Switzerland), one aca-
            Director                            applications, and promote interaction          demic institution (University of Zürich)
                                                between these stakeholders.                    and one RTO (EAWAG).
            V. Gass (EPFL)
                                                 Roles                                         Apart from the founding members
            Staff                                                                              which constitute the BoD (SSO,
                                                • To network Swiss research insti-             EPFL, ETHZ), 32 members from each
            3 Professors                        tutions and industries on national             region of Switzerland representing
            16 Scientific & Technical           and international levels in order to           all types of companies (large-sized,
            2 Administrative                    establish focused areas of excellence          medium and start-up), academies
                                                internationally recognised for both            (Swiss Federal Institutes, Universities,
            Board of Directors                  space R&D and applications.                    Universities of Applied Sciences) and
                                                                                               RTO (CSEM, EMPA, PMOD/WRC,
            R. Krpoun (SERI/SSO)                • To facilitate access to and imple-           EAWAG) are all part of the network.
            M. Gruber (EPFL)                    mentation of space projects for Swiss
            D. Günther (ETHZ)                   research institutions and industries.
                                                                                                 Activities 2017
            Steering Committee                  • To provide education and training.
                                                                                               During 2017, two important events
            M. Rothacher (ETHZ, chairman)       • To promote public awareness of               were organised by the Swiss Space
            M. Thémans (EPFL)                   space.                                         Center, following the request of its
            U. Frei (SSO)                                                                      network.
            U. Meier (Industry rep.)
            C. Schori (Industry rep.)
            A. Neels (RTO rep.)
            S. Krucker (Academic rep.)

            Contact Information

            Swiss Space Center
            EPFL, PPH338, Station 13
            CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
            Tel.: +41 21 693 69 48
            space.center@epfl.ch

            ETH Zurich, c/o Inst. Geodesy and
            Photogrammetry, HIL C61.3,
            Stefano-Franscini Platz 5,
            CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland
            Tel.: +41 44 633 30 56

            Website
                                                A catalogue of Member competences entitled “Members’ Profiles” was edited in March 2017.
            www.spacecenter.ch                  This document is available for download on the SSC website.

12
Institutes and Observatories

a) Earth Observation in Switzerland            months from November 2016 to
– Needs and Vision                             January 2018. The main objectives
                                               of this call included the following
The members of SSC’s working group             aspects:
on Earth Observation and Remote
Sensing initiated and organised a first        • To foster the development of inno-
gathering of the Swiss EO commu-               vative ideas and new products related
nity on 16 March 2017 in Bern. The             to the space sector.
goal of the workshop was to bring
Swiss Space Earth Observation and              • To promote the collaboration be-
Remote Sensing (EO) together and               tween Swiss industrial and academic
discuss the needs and future vision            partners to obtain a more stable
of the different players.                      and better structured Swiss space         and strengthened as an instrument to
                                               landscape.                                identify and boost space innovations
b) Roundtable on “COTS for Space                                                         in Switzerland.
Mechanisms”                                    • To better position Swiss industry
                                               with regard to future European and
The main conclusions drawn from                worldwide activities, so as to be ready   Outreach to Secondary Schools
the roundtable included: i) There is           to submit competitive bids when the
no way around COTS (cost, planning,            respective calls are published.           To inspire secondary school stu-
availability), ii) it is not possible to use                                             dents to become the explorers of
COTS as is, iii) mechanical COTS very          • To increase the technological matu-     tomorrow, 1062 students, aged 11
often need to be adapted to the specific       rity of ideas developed by academia       to 16, and 100 teachers were invit-
application, iv) COTS require a large          and to promote competitive space          ed to Lausanne to participate in an
effort, v) one should not rush into a          products thanks to partnerships with      event with Claude Nicollier, French
COTS approach with overly optimistic           industry.                                 astronaut Jean-François Clervoy,
assumptions, and vi) the correct ratio                                                   Astrophysician Michel Mayor and
between “traditional space-grade” and                                                    Moonwalker Charlie Duke. The audi-
COTS must be found.                            Call for Ideas 2017 – Third Edition       ence paid close attention and reacted
                                                                                         with enthusiasm to the honor of hav-
                                               Call for Ideas to Foster Low              ing such legends on stage.
 National Activities                           Technology Readiness Level (typically
                                               TRL 1-2; research and development
“Mesures de Positionnement” (MdP)              studies related to space activities)
Call 2016                                      was launched in March 2017. Out
                                               of nearly 20 high-quality proposals,
Twelve studies were selected by                seven projects were short-listed in a
SERI/SSO and carried out over 15               very competitive selection process.

                                               During the implementation, the project
                                               teams studied their concepts from a
                                               space perspective and advanced on
                                               the maturity of the concepts for space
                                               applications. All projects were suc-
                                               cessfully concluded, and follow-up
                                               activities have been identified. With
                                               the second successful implementa-
                                               tion of this project opportunity, the
                                               Call for Ideas has been consolidated      Outreach Event for Secondary Schools.

                                                                                                                                         13
Institutes and Observatories

                                                                   2.7      Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) at the Swiss Optical
                                                                            Ground Station and Geodynamics Obs. Zimmerwald

                                                                    Purpose of Research                           The highly autonomous manage-
                                                                                                                  ment of the SLR operations by the
                                                                   The Zimmerwald Geodynamics                     in-house developed control software
                                                                   Observatory is a station of the global         is mainly responsible for Zimmerwald
                                                                   tracking network of the International          Observatory evolving into one of the
                                                                   Laser Ranging Service (ILRS). SLR              most productive SLR stations world-
                                                                   observations to satellites equipped            wide in the last decade. This achieve-
                                                                   with laser retro-reflectors are ac-            ment is remarkable when considering
                                                                   quired with the monostatic 1-m                 that weather conditions in Switzerland
Laser beam transmitted from the 1-meter ZIMLAT telescope to        multi-purpose Zimmerwald Laser                 only allow operations about two thirds
       measure high accuracy distances of artificial satellites.   and Astrometric Telescope (ZIMLAT).            of the time, and that observation time
                                                                                                                  is shared during the night between
                                                                   Target scheduling, acquisition and             SLR operations and the search for
                                                                   tracking, and signal optimisation may          space debris with CCD cameras at-
                                                                   be performed fully autonomously                tached to the multi-purpose telescope.
                                                                   whenever weather conditions per-
                                                                   mit. The collected data are delivered            Publications
                                                                   in near real-time to the global ILRS
                                                                   data centers, while official products          1. Lauber, P., M. Ploner, M. Prohaska, P.
                                                                   are generated by the ILRS analysis                Schlatter, P. Ruzek, T. Schildknecht,
                                                                   centers using data from the geodetic              A. Jäggi, (2016), Trials and limits of
                                                                   satellites, LAGEOS and Etalon. SLR                automation: experiences from the
                                                                   significantly contributes to the reali-           Zimmerwald well characterised
                                                                   sation of the International Terrestrial           and fully automated SLR-system,
                Institute                                          Reference Frame (ITRF), especially                Proc. 20th Int. Workshop on Laser
                                                                   with respect to the determination of              Ranging, Potsdam, Germany, 2016.
                Astronomical Institute,                            the origin and scale of the ITRF.
                Univ. Bern (AIUB)                                                                                 2. Andritsch, F., R. Dach, A. Grahsl,
                                                                    Past Achievements and Status                     T. Schildknecht, A. Jäggi, (2017),
                In Cooperation with:                                                                                 Comparing tracking scenarios to
                                                                   The design of the 100 Hz Nd:YAG la-               LAGEOS and Etalon by simulating
                Bundesamt für Landestopographie                    ser system used at the Swiss Optical              realistic SLR observations, EGU,
                (swisstopo), Wabern, Switzerland                   Ground Station and Geodynamics                    Vienna, Austria, 24–28 April, 2017.
                                                                   Observatory Zimmerwald enables a
                Principal Investigator                             high flexibility in the selection of the       3. Schildknecht, T., A. Jäggi, M.
                                                                   actual firing rate and epochs which also          Ploner, E. Brockmann, (2015),
                T. Schildknecht (AIUB)                             allows for synchronous operation in               The Swiss Optical Ground Station
                                                                   one-way laser ranging to spaceborne               and Geodynamics Observatory
                Co-Investigators                                   optical transponders such as the Lunar            Zimmerwald, Swiss National
                                                                   Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).                     Report on the Geodetic Activities
                P. Lauber, E. Cordelli (AIUB)                                                                        in the years 2011– 2015.

                Method                                              Abbreviations

                Measurement                                        ILRS            International Laser Ranging Service
                                                                   ITRF            International Terrestrial Reference Frame
                Website                                            LRO             Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
                                                                   SLR             Satellite Laser Ranging
                www.aiub.unibe.ch                                  ZIMLAT          Zimmerwald Laser and Astrometry Telescope

14
Swiss Space Missions

3       Swiss Space Missions

3.1     CleanSpace One

 Purpose of Research                         Past Achievements and Status

The collision between the American          The project has identified industrial
operational satellite Iridium and the       partners and is in the process of se-
Russian Cosmos in 2009 brought a            curing funding.
new emphasis to the orbital debris
problem. Although most of the work
had concentrated on avoidance pre-           Publications
diction and debris monitoring, all major
space agencies are now claiming the         1. Richard-Noca, M., et al., (2016),    SwissCube capture by CleanSpace One. Image credit: Jamani Caillet, EPFL.
need for Active Debris Removal (ADR).          Developing a reliable capture
About 23 500 debris items of sizes             system for CleanSpace One, IAC-                                      Institute
above 10 cm have been catalogued.              16-A6.5.2, 67th Int. Astronautical
Roughly 2000 of these are remains of           Congr., Guadalaraja, Mexico.             EPFL Space Engineering Center
launch vehicles, 3000 belong to de-                                                                   (eSpace), EPFL
funct satellites, and the rest are either   2. Chamot, B., et al., (2013),
mission-generated or fragmentation             Technology Combination Analysis                      In Cooperation with:
debris.                                        Tool (TCAT) for active debris re-
                                               moval, 6 th Eur. Conf. on Space                   HES-SO/HEPIA; AIUB;
The motivation behind the CleanSpace           Debris, ESA/ESOC, Darmstadt,                 Fachhochschule NTB; ETHZ
One project is to increase international       Germany.
awareness and start mitigating the                                                         Principal/Swiss Investigator
impact on the space environment by          3. Richard, M., et al., (2013),
acting responsibly and removing our            Uncooperative rendezvous and                      M. Richard-Noca (EPFL)
"debris" from orbit. The objectives of         docking for MicroSats, The case
the project are thus to demonstrate            for CleanSpace One, 6th Int.Conf.                          Co-Investigator
technologies related to ADR which              on Recent Advances in Space
are scalable for the removal of micro-         Technol., RAST 2013, Istanbul,                                     J.-P. Kneib
satellites, and to de-orbit SwissCube          Turkey.
or any similar Swiss satellite that com-                                                                            Method
plies with the launch constraints.
                                                                                                              Measurement
This project will contribute to the          Abbreviations
Space Sustainability and Awareness                                                  Development & Constr. of Instrs.
with ADR actions.                           ADR           Active Debris Removal
                                                                                    Mission design, sys. & sub-sys. design
Current activities include development                                              & validation, launch & flight operations.
of the capture system, Guidance-
Navigation and Control, and systems                                                 Industrial Hardware Contract to:
related to the rendezvous sensors and
image processing.                                                                                  Airbus, ClearSpace SA

                                                                                                                    Method

Time-Line                                   From               To                                             Measurement
Planning                                    Oct. 2017          Jul. 2019
Construction                                Aug. 2019          Feb. 2022                                            Website
Measurement Phase                           Mar. 2022          Nov. 2022
Data Evaluation                             Mar. 2022          Dec. 2022              espace.epfl.ch/CleanSpaceOne_1

                                                                                                                                          15
Swiss Space Missions

                                                                            3.2    CHEOPS – Characterising ExOPlanet Satellite

                                                                             Purpose of Research                      • Bring new constraints on the at-
                                                                                                                        mospheric properties of known
                                                                            CHEOPS is the first mission dedicat-        hot Jupiters via phase curves.
                                                                            ed to search for transits of exoplanets
                                                                            by means of ultrahigh precision pho-      • Provide unique targets for detailed
                                                                            tometry on bright stars already known       atmospheric characterisation by
                                                                            to host planets.                            future ground (e.g. the European
                                                                                                                        Extremely Large Telescope,
                                                                            It will provide the unique capability       E-ELT) and space-based (e.g. the
                                                                            of determining accurate radii for a         James Webb Space Telescope,
                                                                            subset of those planets for which the       JWST) facilities with spectroscopic
                                                                            mass has already been estimated             capabilities.
The CHEOPS electronics boxes. On the right is the BEE (Back End Electr-     from ground-based spectroscopic
 onics) housing the Data Processing Unit (DPU) and the power converter.     surveys, providing on-the-fly char-       In addition, 20% of the CHEOPS ob-
     On the left, the SEM (Sensor Electronics Module) which controls the    acterisation of exoplanets located        serving time will be made available to
      CCD as well as the temperature stabilisation of the focal plane mo-   almost everywhere in the sky.             the community through a selection
           dule. Both boxes will be housed in the body of the spacecraft.                                             process carried out by ESA, in which
                                                                            It will also provide precise radii for    a wide range of science topics may
                                                                            new planets discovered by the next        be addressed.
                                                                            generation of ground or space-based
                                                                            transit surveys (Neptune-size and
                                                                            smaller).

                           Institute                                        By unveiling transiting exoplanets         Past Achievements and Status
                                                                            with high potential for in-depth char-
                           Center for Space and Habitability &              acterization, CHEOPS will also pro-       - Mission selection: October 2012
                           Institute of Physics,                            vide prime targets for future instru-     - Mission adoption: February 2014
                           Univ. Bern (UNIBE)                               ments suited to the spectroscopic         - Instrument CDR: December 2015
                                                                            characterisation of exoplanetary          - Ground segment CDR: January
                           In Cooperation with:                             atmospheres.                                2016
                                                                                                                      - System CDR: May 2016
                           Institut für Weltraumforschung                   In particular, CHEOPS will:               - Flight telescope arrives at the
                           Graz, Austria                                                                                University of Bern: April 2017
                           Center Spatial de Liege, Belgium                 • Determine the mass-radius rela-         - SVT-1A: June 2017
                           ETH Zurich, CH                                     tion in a planetary mass range for      - SVT-1B: November 2017
                           Swiss Space Center, CH                             which only a handful of data exist      - Instrument EMC test: December
                           Observatoire Geneve, CH                            and to a precision not previously         2017
                           Lab. d’Astrophys. Marseille, France                achieved.                               - Measurement of the center of
                           DLR Inst. Planetary Res., Germany                                                            mass, and moment of inertia:
                           DLR Inst. Opt. Sensor Sys., Germany              • Identify planets with significant at-     January 2018
                           Konkoly Observatory                                mospheres in a range of masses,         - Telescope ready for calibration:
                           INAF Osserv. Astrofisico di Catania                distances from the host star, and          March 2018
                           INAF Osserv. Astro. di Padova                      stellar parameters.
                           Centro de Astro. da Univ. do Porto                                                         At present, the CHEOPS telescope
                           Deimos Engenharia                                • Place constraints on possible           is undergoing a thorough and exten-
                           Onsala Space Observatory                           planet migration paths followed         sive calibration testing phase at the
                           Stockholm Univ., Sweden                            during the formation and evolution      University of Bern which ended in
                           Univ. Warwick, Univ. Cambridge, UK                 of planets.                             April 2018.

           16
Swiss Space Missions

 Publications                                         Abbreviations                                       Principal/Swiss Investigator

1. Cessa, V., et al., (2017), CHEOPS:               CHEOPS              CHaracterising ExOPlanet                        W. Benz (UNIBE)
   A space telescope for ultra-high                                     Satellite
   precision photometry of exoplanet                CDR                 Critical Design Review                        Co-Investigators
   transits, SPIE, 10563, 105631.                   E-ELT               European Extremely Large
                                                                        Telescope                                    T. Barczy, T. Beck,
2. Beck, T., et al., (2017), The CHEOPS             EMC                 Electromag. Compatibility             M. Davies, D. Ehrenreich,
   (CH a rac te r is in g E x O Pl a n et           JWST                James Webb Space                     M. Gillon, W. Baumjohann,
   Satellite) mission: telescope optical                                Telescope                                  C. Broeg, M. Deleuil,
   design, development status and                   STM                 Structural Thermal Model                 A. Fortier, A. Gutierrez,
   main technical and programmatic                  SVT                 System Validation Test                A. L.-d-Etangs, G. Piotto,
   challenges, SPIE, 10562, 1056218.                                                                             D. Queloz, E. Renotte,
                                                                                                                      T. Spohn, S. Udry,
3. Benz, W., D. Ehrenreich, K. Isaak,                                                                           and the CHEOPS Team
   (2017), CHEOPS: CHaracterising
   ExOPlanets Satellite, Handbook of                                                                                            Method
   Exoplanets, Eds. H. J. Deeg, J. A.
   Belmonte, Springer Living Ref. Work,                                                                                    Measurement
   ISBN: 978-3-319-30648-3, id.84.
                                                                                                    Development & Constr. of Instrs.
Time-Line                                            From                     To
Planning                                             Mar. 2013                Feb. 2014             Switzerland is responsible for the de-
Construction                                         Mar. 2014                Apr. 2018             velopment, assembly, and verification
Measurement Phase                                    2019                     Mid 2022              of a 33 cm diameter telescope as well
Data Evaluation                                      2019                     Open                  as the development and operation of
                                                                                                    the mission's ground segment.

                                                                                                    Industrial Hardware Contract to:

                                                                                                                                Almatech
                                                                                                                             Connova AG
                                                                                                                     Pfeiffer Vacuum AG
                                                                                                                                    P&P
                                                                                                                            RUAG Space

                                                                                                                                Website

                                                                                                                        cheops.unibe.ch

     The CHEOPS telescope completely assembled, integrated and ready for calibration
     at the University of Bern. Notice the prominent front baffle with its cover to protect the
     optics from dust contamination prior to launch. Also visible are the two white radiators
     on top which are part of the thermal stabilisation system of the read-out electronics.
     Standing next to the telescope is Dr. Thomas Beck, the CHEOPS system engineer.

                                                                                                                                                17
Space Access Technology

                                                                       4       Space Access Technology

                                                                       4.1     ALTAIR – Air Launch Space Transportation Using an
                                                                               Automated Aircraft and an Innovative Rocket

                                                                        Purpose of Research                        Zurich will lead the development of
                                                                                                                   the launcher structure, leveraging
                                                                       ALTAIR’s strategic objective is to dem-     the know-how in structural design,
                                                                       onstrate the economic and technical         multi-disciplinary optimisation, numeri-
                                                                       viability of a novel European launch        cal modelling and composite mate-
                                                                       service for the rapidly growing small       rials manufacturing by CMASLab.
                                                                       satellites market. The system is spe-       By exploiting advanced composite
                                                                       cially designed to launch satellites in     materials, implementing novel and
The ALTAIR carrier and launcher performing the separation manoeuvre.   the 50 – 150 kg range into Low-Earth        structurally optimised designs, and
                                                                       Orbits, in a reliable and cost-compet-      tailoring the composite manufacturing
                        Institute                                      itive manner.                               processes, the structural performance
                                                                                                                   of the vehicle will be increased. These
                        CMASLab, Inst. Des. Mat. & Fabr.,              The ALTAIR system comprises an ex-          state-of-the-art design techniques will
                        D-MAVT, ETH Zurich, Switzerland                pendable launch vehicle built around        advance the technology of lightweight
                                                                       hybrid propulsion and lightweight           composite systems and promote the
                        In Cooperation with:                           composite structures which is air-          use of composite materials in launch
                                                                       launched from an unmanned carrier           vehicles, thereby expanding the cur-
                        ONERA, France; Bertin Technol.,                aircraft at high altitudes. Following       rent bounds of structural efficiency.
                        France; Piaggio Aerospace, Italy;              separation, the carrier aircraft returns
                        GTD Sistemas de Inform., Spain;                to the launch site, while the rocket pro-    Past Achievements and Status
                        Nammo Raufoss, Norway; SpaceTec                pels the payload into orbit, making
                        Partners, Belgium; CNES, France                the entire launch system partly reus-       The project, funded through the EU
                                                                       able and more versatile than exist-         Horizon 2020 programme, started in
                        Principal Investigator                         ing rideshare and piggyback launch          December 2015 and will be concluded
                                                                       solutions. ALTAIR will hence provide        in November 2018. Numerous design
                        N. Bérend                                      a dedicated launch service for small        loops, involving constant improvement
                                                                       satellites, enabling on-demand and          of the cost-per-kg performance of the
                        Swiss Principal Investigator                   affordable space access to a large          launcher, have led to an effective and
                                                                       spectrum of users, from communi-            viable concept. The ongoing efforts
                        P. Ermanni (ETHZ)                              cation and Earth observation satellite      are geared towards the refinement of
                                                                       operators to academic and research          the subsystems design, while flight
                        Co-Investigators                               centers.                                    tests performed on a scaled demon-
                                                                                                                   strator of the entire system are planned
                        G. Molinari (ETHZ), C. Karl (ETHZ)             The key feature of the expendable           to support the numerical analyses of
                                                                       rocket will be an advanced lightweight      the crucial captive flight phase and
                        Method                                         composite structure, designed around        release manoeuvre.
                                                                       environmentally green hybrid propul-
                        Simulation                                     sion stages. A versatile upper stage         Publications
                                                                       and innovative avionics contribute to
                        Developments                                   mission flexibility and cost reduction,     1. Dupont C., et al., (2017), ALTAIR -
                                                                       paired with novel ground system ar-            Design & Progress on the Space
                        Feasibility demonstration of a satellite       chitectures. All systems are developed         Launch Vehicle Design, 7th Europ.
                        launcher based on a semi-reusable              by exploiting multi-disciplinary analysis      Conf. Aeronautics & Space Sci.
                        hybrid aircraft-rocket design for low-         and optimisation techniques, and the           (EUCASS).
                        cost, low-Earth-orbit space access.            resulting design will be supported by
                                                                       flight experiments to advance the ma-       2. Dupont, C., et al., (2017), ALTAIR
                        Website                                        turity of key technologies.                    orbital module preliminary mission
                                                                                                                      and system design, 7th Europ. Conf.
                        www.altair-h2020.eu                            Within the ALTAIR project, ETH                 Aeronautics & Space Sci. (EUCASS).

         18
Astrophysics

5       Astrophysics

5.1     Gaia Variability Processing and Analysis

 Purpose of Research                          Since late 2016, we have worked ex-
                                              tensively on 120 billion Gaia photo-
The Gaia project is a cornerstone mis-        metric measurements to provide the
sion from ESA, performing a multi-            first large catalogue of variable objects
epoch survey of all stars in the Milky        across the whole sky for the Second
Way brighter than magnitude 20.7,             Data Release planned in April 2018.             Sky distribution in Galactic coordinates of the cross-matched RR Lyrae stars
with astrometric, photometric, and            We will release classification and vari-        from the literature, colour-coded with apparent magnitude (generally: higher
spectroscopic measurements. More              ability information together with time          means the stars are further away, though not accounting for extinction). The
than 1.7 billion celestial objects are        series for about half a million stars.          Magellanic clouds and Sagittarius stream are clearly visible (Image credit:
repeatedly measured.                                                                          ESA/Gaia/DPAC). An unrivalled catalogue of RR Lyrae stars is provided in
                                              These catalogues are among the larg-            Gaia Data Release-2.
One of the duties of the Gaia con-            est, if not the largest, ever published
sortium is to detect and analyse the          over the whole sky, and is the tip of the                                            Institute
variable celestial objects. This effort       iceberg. The analysis of the first two
is coordinated by the University of           years of data makes us confident that           Dept. Astron., Univ. Geneva (UNIGE)
Geneva with an associated data pro-           great science can be done with Gaia,
cessing center of about 60 people.            and that the integration of the software                          In Cooperation with:
The task of this coordination unit is first   pipelines of all Coordination Units is
to statistically describe the time series     working under real-data conditions.               17 institutes in Europe, USA, Israel
and then classify the variable sources.                                                                       (more than 60 people)
Further specific analysis is done on
a subset of sources to provide their           Publications                                                    Principal Investigator
astrophysical properties.
                                              1. Gaia Collaboration, Brown, A.G.A.,                                                      ESA
 Past Achievements and Status                    Vallenari, A., Prusti, T., et al., (2016),
                                                 Gaia Data Release 1. Summary                         Swiss Principal Investigator
The Gaia spacecraft has been gath-               of the astrometric, photometric,
ering data since Summer 2014. The                and survey properties, Astron.                                          L. Eyer (UNIGE)
First Data Release was made pub-                 Astrophys., 595, 2.
lic in September 2016, in which the                                                                                   Co-Investigators
Gaia Data Processing and Analysis             2. Eyer, L., Mowlavi, N., Evans, D. W., et
Consortium only released a small                 al., (2017), Gaia Data Release 1: The            N. Mowlavi, B. Holl, M. Audard,
fraction of the data. In particular, vari-       variability processing & analysis and            I. Lecoeur-Taibi, L. Rimoldini, L.
able stars were released much earlier            its application to the south ecliptic           Guy, O. Marchal, J. Charnas, and
than originally planned. We focused on           pole region, arXiv170203295.                     K. Nienartowicz, G. Jevardat de
Cepheid and RR Lyrae stars from the                                                                Fombelle (software co., SixSQ)
South Ecliptic pole, a region near stars      3. Gaia Collaboration, Clementini, G.,
of the Large Magellanic Clouds, and              Eyer, L., Ripepi, V., et al., (2017), Gaia                                        Method
variability information for 3,194 stars          Data Release 1. Testing parallaxes
was published of which ~10% were                 with local Cepheids and RR Lyrae                                           Measurement
new. This data release was more like a           stars, Astron. Astrophys., 605, 79.
showcase of the performance of Gaia.                                                               Development of Software for

                                                                                                                       The Gaia mission
Time-Line                                     From                   To
Planning                                      2006                   2022                                                         Website
Construction                                  Cyclic development     2022
Measurement Phase                             2014                   2020                            www.unige.ch/sciences/astro/
Data Evaluation                               Cyclic                 2022/2023                                          variability

                                                                                                                                                            19
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