ESA Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory (EChO)
The Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory, EChO, will be the first dedicated mission to investigate the physics and chemistry of Exoplanetary Atmospheres. It will place our Solar System in context and by addressing the suitability of planets for life will allow us to address some of the fundamental questions of the Cosmic Visions programme.
EChO will provide high resolution, simultaneous multi-wavelength spectroscopic observations on a stable platform that will allow very long exposures. The use of passive cooling, few moving parts and well established technology gives a low-risk and potentially long-lived mission.
The University of Reading is currently undergoing a feasibility study for the design and development of mid-infrared dichroic beamsplitters for EChO with on-going future research looking into the fabrication of precision thin-film coatings.
- University College London, Department of Physics and Astronomy
- Science and Technology Facilities Council
The EChO Mission Concept
- European space concepts enter competition - February 26, 2011
- Four candidates selected for the next medium-class mission in ESA's Cosmic Vision - February 25, 2011