Contribution of the IAC to space missions: Developments for SPICA and Athena, Herschel post-operations and multi-frequency scientific exploitation

In force date
Call year
Pérez Fournon
Amount granted to the IAC Consortium
121.000,00 €

In the last two decades, Spain has built up strong IR and X-ray communities which have successfully contributed, at Co-I level, to the construction and to the scientific exploitation of basically all European InfraRed (IR) space instruments and to the participation in X-ray missions, including Athena. The IAC has contributed to the construction of infrared instruments for the space telescopes ISO (ISOPHOT-S) and Herschel (PACS and SPIRE). This project merges all the technical and a large fraction of the scientific Spanish IR expertise to make the next step in IR  astronomy from Space. We seek to make a quantitative and qualitative jump in the Spanish involvement in the design and the development of Mid and Far-IR space instrumentation, aiming at co-leading the construction of a cryogenic IR instrument and maximizing the scientific return of the present and future IR and X-ray space missions. This IAC subproject requests the necessary funding to:

a) carry out the scientific activities in the field of extragalactic research corresponding to the redefinition of the Japanese SPICA mission with a larger European contribution to produce a SPICA proposal to be submitted to the ESA call for the M5 slot of the Cosmic Vision Programme.

b) make contributions to the post-operation phase of the SPIRE instrument of Herschel and to several Herschel extragalactic Key Projects.

c) to carry out multiwavelength exploitation of the Herschel data combined with follow up studies with other telescopes.

From the technological point of view, the proposed activities of the coordinated project will develop key cryogenic components and facilities together with enabling technologies which are fundamental to consolidate the Spanish Co-leadership in the SAFARI instrument and in the redefined SPICA mission.

The IAC subproject will contribute with the expertise based in the participation in the Herschel SPIRE consortium. Our contribution to the post-operations phase of Herschel will continue our previous involvement/commitments in the international SPIRE consortium and in several extragalactic Herschel Key Projects, including HerMES and Herschel-ATLAS. From a scientific viewpoint, we plan to take full advantage of the Spanish investments in Herschel by carrying out a multiwavelength scientific exploitation of the Herschel data within the Key Projects in which the IAC subproject participates, and in particular in the studies of infrared galaxies at very high redshift. We stress that the next years will be fundamental for obtaining remarkable results by combining Herschel data with deep and/or high angular resolution observations with ALMA, IRAM/NOEMA, APEX, Spitzer, GTC, Keck, VLT, Gemini, and HST.

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Pérez Fournon