Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Public lecture April 7, 2008
Monday April 7, 2007
in new lecture room in Astronomical Institute Ondrejov
Gaia satellite (to be launched by ESA in 2011) continues a European tradition in pioneering astrometry, building on the expertise generated by the first space-based astrometry mission, Hipparcos. While Hipparcos followed a programme of pre-selected objects to observe, Gaia´s survey will be complete and unbiased. Besides very precise astrometry (micro-arcsecond range), Gaia instrumentation is to provide photometric data, low dispersion spectroscopy and high-resolution spectra in a limited NIR band. In course of the 5-year active lifetime the satellite will repeat observations of each object (down to 20 th magnitude) around 70 times. Gaia will acquire an enormous quantity of complex data representing observations of 1000 milion diverse objects, i.e. some 1000 times the raw volume from Hipparcos.
I will briefly describe the organisation of data treatment (Data Processing and Analysis Consortium – DPAC, eight (nine) Coordination Units – CUs, and six Data Processing Centres – DPCs). Details on the Czech participation in the Gaia Programme, which is realized through the ESA PECS Project No 98058 (2007-2011) will be given. The project was divided into eight workpackages dealing with ground observations in Gaia pre-launch and post-launch time (WP1, 2), reduction of spectrograms of project reference stars (WP 3), algorithms for automatic analysis of low dispersion spectra (WP 4), sub-workpackages on Be stars(WP 5), cataclysmic variables (WP 6) and optical counterparts of high energy sources (WP 7), and participation in software development and data processing (WP 8). Scope and/or results of workpackages 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 will be briefly presented by members of the team (L. Hudec, J. Soldan and J. Simon).