SC telecon 09-03-2021

Telecon with Fabio Favata and others from ESA

Participants:

Paolo, Ludo, Francesco, Enrique, Jon, Gao, Hans Kristian, Pete, Radek, Erminia, Eiichiro

Thierry

Fabio Favata, Martin Linder, Elena Saenz, Brian Shortt (ESA)

Agenda: 

– Introducing each other [P. Natoli]

– Preamble: Decision on the change of the procurement baseline from NASA [L. Montier]

– ESA’s position on LiteBIRD [F. Favata]

– ESA’s study on detectors:  Expectations by ESA, remarks from the ESC [F. Favata] 

– Short Summary of Back-up Plan Investigations by the ESC [L. Montier]

– What are ESA’s plans on LB for the future, depending on the outcomes of the feasibility studies?  [F. Favata and all]

 

Introducing each other [P. Natoli]

 

Preamble: Decision on the change of the procurement baseline from NASA [L. Montier]

 

Ludovic Montier:

  • NASA procurement is not the baseline anymore 
  • decision endorsed by the LitBIRD collaboration
  • LFT side
    • new procurement baseline: purchase to US, without technical changes
  • MHFT side
    • to be decided in Europe, for both technical and procurement baseline

 

Fabio

  • this is a complete change with previous

 

Paolo:

  • correct, and endorsed by the full collaboration 

 

ESA’s position on LiteBIRD [F. Favata]

 

FF:

  • LiteBIRD a JAXA lead mission
  • discussed since quite some time between ESA and Jaxa
  • there is a significant European interest by the scientific community, incarnated by the ESC
  • both on the Jaxa side and on the European scientists side it became evident the interest in providing a complete instrument from Europe. 
  • ESA has 2 channels
    • Missions of Opportunity
      • limited ambitions, both financially and technologically 
      • it was clear that the provision of a complete instrument (detectors, HWP with cryogenic mechanism, optics, …) way too expensive for MoF, and requires too much development
      • CNES made the proposal to lead the technical development
      • Still, ESA keeps discussing with JAXA 
      • CNES decided to study a configuration with US provided focal planes
      • ESA understood that this is not a possible option, since NASA is not participating in LiteBIRD and will not (this may change in the future)
      • ESA executive decided not to participate if the position is not changed
      • given the new position (NASA procurement is not the baseline anymore), participation to LiteBIRD, in our opinion, is now placed in a much more realistic footprint
      • with new challenges
        • financial
        • technical (even the US doesn’t show full capability of detectors for space)
      • I know there is a number of people thinking that purchasing to US is an option
        • this must be seen as a last resort option
        • ESA supports technology development in EU
        • to go for the purchasing option, there must be no alternative option
        • still, purchasing can be done in case of an available item, in catalog, not a technology under development
  • US scientific participation is not granted in this case. 
    • clearly there can’t be ESA funding to US scientists
  • I am aware JAXA may be considering this option
    • We don’t interfere

 

  • we are aware of a number of groups are developing detectors in europe (France, UK, Italy, Spain)
  • given the new position by the LiteBIRD mission, we will now enforce the study, and make new proposal
  • The SPC is the body that decides, based on proposals by ESA executive 

 

ESA’s position [summed up by Erminia] :  Japanese led, spoke with them about possible collaborations, knew about EU interest via us. It has become evident interest in providing MHFT. MoO is a possibility but limited in finance and tech ambition, it became clear that the provision of MHFT with significant development on tech side is a) too expensive b) needing significant development so cannot be MoO. Discussed with member states and CNES offered leadership so technical leadership has been passed to CNES but ESA continued to discuss with ESA. In the last couple of years got stuck because CNES decided to go ahead with US focal plane but ESA had clear statement from NASA that this was not going to happen, at last SPC ESA said that the configuration studied by CNES given NASA statement was not leading anyway and so ESA was not considering participation in LiteBIRD under these assumptions. Initial plan was based on non existing plans but also technical problems because the US detector team do not have the necessary space heritage to lead the work. Purchase from the US team is the very last resort for industrial policies in Europe, there has to be no other option in Europe, also purchase is only based on available items and not on a development program and this is not possible. Purchase from US will not carry US scientific participation with it. Now carrying a survey in Europe to check what is available and is was done with a low pitch considering that CNES insisted on US.

LM:

  • can ESA put some more effort, in which timescale?

FF:

    • we need to see a number of things. 
    • we need some time to react

 

  • We want to have a clear statement from CNES about this new position. 

 

 

FP:

  • What are the possibilities of ESA support other than the MoO?

 

FF: 

  • MoO is usually not enough. More than 50M is not impossible but very difficult 
  • medium missions is the other option. There isn’t a call out yet, and timing issues rule out this path. 
  • I suggest we keep the MoO as the possible path + national agencies contribution 

 

ESA’s study on detectors:  Expectations by ESA, remarks from the ESC [F. Favata] 

Martin Linder:

  • we had a first discussion with UK about feasibility assessment 
  • by the Summer we will finalize the study

Elena Saenz

  • we have agreed many details
  • the feasibility study should start by next week. 

 

ML:

  • some interest from Italian side to see what the status is there, and possibly discuss a small activity there. 
  • Don’t know who to contact yet. 

 

ES:

  • some research on absorbers is ano of ESA interest. 

LM:

  • Jon is involved + a team in Italy, lead by Luca Lamagna in Sapienza. It will be great to collaborate on this. 

Jon:

  • We are surveying the state of the art. 
  • Will be in contact with Elena and Luca Lamagna asap.  

 

Brian: 

  • we are still waiting for the document with LiteBIRD detectors requirements 

LM:

  • The document was prepared and Pete has it. 
  • we can circulate it more broadly. Ludo will do it after the call. 
  • it includes the requirements of the current focal plane design. 
  • This was a very kind contribution from the US colleagues. 

 

FP:

  • I can act as PoC for activity in Italy. 

LM:

  • yes please

 

Short Summary of Back-up Plan Investigations by the ESC [L. Montier]

Ludo presents slides [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yVtKBBdeLK3UQVftpBzKpzfbtdx5as_w/view?usp=sharing

 

FF:

  • Is the 3 years considered a “limited impact” in agreement with JAXA?

LM:

  • Yes, this was agreed with Jaxa. 

 

The case of KIDs detectors is considered as a RED option in terms of Schedule and Cost due to the impact into Readout electronics and CSA current planned contribution. 

 

The matrix presented is very preliminary and it should be refined. 

 

ES:

  • can you say more about the option of production in Europe on US design 

LM: 

  • this was triggered by Stafford, to speed-up the process, using the US design as a baseline 
  • we don’t know how feasible it is if the US is not involved at all. 
  • we are opening the discussion on this

 

FF:

  • assuming US detectors are usable, is the US team available for a technological transfer
  • if I were you, I would put this bluntly. 
  • this may be their ticket to participate to the mission 
  • but please not underestimate the issue of export control 

 

LM:

  • the option is in the document, and the the team has endorsed 

 

New realistic baseline to be defined asap

 

Brian: 

  • There are many options in the document. Are you going to make a systematic survey of the various options?

LM: 

  • we will circulate the requirement document to the various teams potentially interested. 
  • so we can have a complete survey
  • it will be great to have some coordination with the ESA study in this effort. 

 

Gao:

  • in terms of detectors for LiteBIRD the US is in advance 
  • in europe we are more advanced in  the cold readout electronics than the US, I believe

 

Linder:

  • what are the potential ESA contributions at mission level?

 

LM:

  • this is a very important point
  • JAXA contacted ESA to request support for some activity 

 

FF:

  • there isn’t any agreement between JAXA and ESA in any formal way at the moment. This is a new discussion. 
  • We need to consult national agencies at SPC level. 

 

LM:

  • we can provide input from the collaboration, for agency discussion 

 

ES:

  • also the LiteBIRD development plan timeline will be very useful, in particular for the eu contribution 

 

LM:

  • we will circulate the schedule with the specifications

 

What are ESA’s plans on LB for the future, depending on the outcomes of the feasibility studies?  [F. Favata and all]

 

FF:

  • we should all work together to find a solution together with JAXA. 
  • I believe that international support is needed for JAXA to go on with the mission.  
  • JAXA doesn’t have a focal plane either. 
  • the detectors are not available in the US yet. Not ready off the shelf. There is developing going on. 
  • Transfer IP can be the more effective strategy. The US will keep science contributions in this case. 

 

EC:

  • developing detectors could fit in MoO financially?

FF:

  • I don’t know yet. We are waiting for the outcome of the study. 
  • If we build significant technological development, there should be large interest in the national agencies to push this also financially  

 

Gao:

  • the US in the proposals in the US had a total 70M$ costs.
  • is this doable in Eu?

 

FF:

  • the cost to NASA is usually much higher than direct cost. It counts the full contribution, including supporting scientists until the end of the mission. This may be a factor of 4

 

PN:

  • ESA has put on hold funding for TRP on the HWP.
  • Can this be unlocked?

 

FF:

  • to be discussed with ASI
  • a formal change in position by CNES is required for that. 

 

FF:

  • we will speak again in the near future. 

 

——- END OF MEETING WITH ESA

 

A statement from CNES should come, changing the baseline. 

 

LM: 

  • meeting on thursday organised next thursday. Same ad december 8th 
  • the situation should be clarified

 

  • CNES can keep working with a detectors configuration. 
  • this will allows to keep working
  • then they can try to build a new picture with different detectors options 

 

Gao:

  • if there is no NASA support, US development with regard to space  requirements may be very difficult. 

 

EC:

  • if the contribution is high level, National agencies will be more interested and happy to put money on it. 

 

EK

  • purchasing in not an option until someone demonstrates the is no other option
  • but ESA is not paying to demonstrate this. 

 

EC:

  • the MoO is not the way to provide a full instrument. 
  • Other studies are needed. 
  • If there is an option in Europe, then the MoO can be the framework to work on. 

 

Jon:

  • the US is testing detectors in balloons. It is not true there is no testing going on beyond ground-based. 

 

LM:

  • we need ESA support if we want to demonstrate high TRL. 

 

LM:

  • Can TRP be enough to cover the development plan for the detectors?

PH:

  • TRP may be a part of the process.