Exoplanet diversity with satellite studies
Research Project, 2019 – 2023

This proposal seeks funding for a PhD student to participate in both the preparation and scientific exploitation of the CHEOPS (CH-ESA) and PLATO (ESA) space missions. In this context, a new exoplanetary group (Carina Persson and Malcolm Fridlund) based on active participation in the core scientific teams of both missions was formed 2017 at Chalmers University of Technology, supported by the astronomy and astrophysics group at the department, and funded by the Swedish National Space Agency. Both space missions are designed to observe planetary transits by long-term photometry. The CHEOPS mission, to be launched in 2019, will complement the M3 PLATO mission (launch 2026). PLATO will search for planets around millions of stars with unprecedented precision, and simultaneously probe stellar structure and evolution using asteroseismology. We will also use data from NASAs TESS mission, launched in April 2018, an all sky survey of short period planets, which for our purposes can be regarded as a preparation for PLATO in addition to a large scientific return. Our group is specialising in two areas: light curve analysis of transiting exoplanets using data from current and future spacecrafts, and the acquisition and interpretation of supporting, mainly spectroscopic, ground based data through the international KESPRINT consortium, in order to fully characterise the detected exoplanets and their systems. The objective is to address the enormous diversity among exoplanets and begin true comparative planetology in order to improve the understanding of the formation and evolution of planetary systems, and to assess the possibility of habitable planets outside the Solar system.


Carina Persson (contact)

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Astronomy and Plasmaphysics

Malcolm Fridlund

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Astronomy and Plasmaphysics

Iskra Georgieva

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Astronomy and Plasmaphysics


Swedish National Space Board

Project ID: 174/18
Funding Chalmers participation during 2019–2023

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Basic sciences



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