The PSM consists of sub-groups totalling more than 100, mainly European, experts who provide the needed state-of-the art scientific know-how, including in particular expertise from previous space missions like CoRoT and Kepler and expertise in ground-based follow-up observations for planet confirmation. This expertise is specially required to set-up an efficient scheme for planet detection, ranking and definition of the requirements for the ground-based follow-up observations. This is a lessons-learned from the on-going transit search space missions. The PSM also provides the expertise for:

  • Defining algorithms, methods, and inputs needed to exploit PLATO data for both exoplanet and stellar science. These are passed to the PDC for implementation.
  • Defining the data, metadata, and sources that will be used to prepare the PLATO Input Catalogue (PIC).
  • Identifying the optimal fields for PLATO to observe.
  • Coordinating the ground-and space-based follow-up observations needed to confirm PLATO discoveries.
  • Coordinating science exploitation outside the core science program of the mission, involving the wider scientific community.
  • Scientifically reviewing and validating the performance of the data processing pipelines, and defining updates where needed.
  • Scientifically validating PLATO’s data products.

PSM is coordinated by Don Pollacco (University of Warwick, UK).

 Core Science

Exoplanet Science 
Leader: Don Pollacco (University of Warwick, UK)

  • Development of methods and algorithms for transit detection (as well as other planet detection methods).
  • Determination of planets’ bulk parameters.
  • Lightcurve filtering by the characterisationof intrinsic noise.
  • Identification, and elimination, of false positive signals such as eclipsing binaries, background blends, etc.

Top-level Work Package leaders: Juan Cabrera (DLR, Germany); Isabella Pagano (OACT, Italy); Magali Deleuil (LAM, France); Szilard Csizmadia (DLR, Germany); Don Pollacco (Warwick, UK); Heike Rauer (DLR, Germany); Nuno Santos (CAUP, Portugal)

Stellar Science
Leader: Marie-Jo Goupil (LESIA, Paris Observatory, France)

  • Oscillation mode inversion techniques.
  • Production of state-of-the-art grids of stellar evolution models that include new physical ingredients (such as rotation, internal waves, magnetic fields, etc.).
  • Asteroseismology.
  • Study, and modelling, of stellar atmospheres.

Top-level Work Package leaders: Aldo Serenelli (CSIC-IEEC, Spain); Thierry Morel (Liège, Belgium); Antonino Lanza (OACT, Italy); Margarida Cunha (CAUP, Portugal); Jørgen Christensen-Dalsgaard (Aarhus, Denmark); Kévin Belkacem (Obs. Paris, France); Benoit Mosser (Obs. Paris, France); Bill Chaplin (Birmingham, UK); Rhita-Maria Ouazzani (Obs. Paris, France)

Field/Target Characterisation & Selection
Leader: Giampaolo Piotto (Padova Univ, Italy)

  • Identification of optimal fields for PLATO to observe.
  • Assessment of primary, secondary, and tertiary stellar samples.
  • Interfaces with large spectroscopic, photometric, and astrometric catalogues, including those from Kepler, TESS, and Gaia.
  • Assessment of field and source contaminants for PLATO targets.

Top-level Work Package leaders: Valerio Nascimbeni (OAPD, Italy); Marco Montalto (OAPD, Italy); Ricardo Claudi (OAPD, Italy)

Other Activities

Leader: Stephane Udry (Geneva Observatory, Switzerland)

  • Follow-up studies, including:
  • Identification of follow-up facilities, both in existence and currently being planned.
  • Development of an international follow-up procedure, including organisationand coordination of follow-up observations.
  • Assessment of the efficiency of the follow-up process

Top-level Work Package leaders: Don Pollacco (Warwick, UK); Francois Bouchy (Obs. Geneva, Switzerland); Roi Alonso (IAC, Spain); Silvano Desidera (OAPD, Italy); Xavier Bonfils (IPAG, France); Artie Hatzes (TLS, Germany); Stéphane Udry (Obs. Geneva, Switzerland)

Complementary Science
Leader: Conny Aerts (University of Leuven, Belgium)

Research activities cover science outside the core mission goals, and include:

  • Binary and multiple stars, pulsating stars, and stars with extreme mass loss.
  • Young stellar objects and debris disks.
  • Transient phenomena and accretion physics.
  • Galactic structure and extragalactic science.

Top-level Work Package leaders: John Southworth (Keele, UK); Conny Aerts (Leuven, Belgium); Coralie Neiner (Obs. Paris, France); Sergio Simón-Díaz (IAC, Spain); Manuel Guedel (Vienna, Austria); Saskia Hekker (Goettingen, Germany); Peter Jonker (SRON, Netherlands); Samaya Nissanke (Radboud, Netherlands); Ennio Poretti (INAF-Brera, Italy)

More information on PSM are at the PSM web site hosted by the University of Warwick.