SC telecon 16-03-2021


Natoli, Piacentini, Montier, Stompor, Komatsu, Calabrese, Hargrave, Gao


– Choose a notetaker for the day

– Approval of minutes of the two previous calls on 02/03 and 09/03 

– Distribution to ESA of minutes from 09/03 

– Any remarks on PRODEX proposal as submitted?

– All round agency update, following JAXA meeting and discussion at IGB

– Newly proposed LB members

– Update of our policy to guarantee vote outcome (Radek)

– Gruber conference



Choose a notetaker for the day

Notetaker: Francesco 

Approval of minutes of the two previous calls on 02/03 and 09/03 

Regarding meeting with ESA, Ludo will add his comments and will prepare a synthesis to be agreed. 

Distribution to ESA of minutes from 09/03 

The synthetic version will be sent to ESA

Any remarks on PRODEX proposal as submitted?

Enrique not present

All round agency update, following JAXA meeting and discussion at IGB


  • the meeting was positive
  • Jaxa repeated their point of view, with the new procurement baseline
  • CNES described the new “plan” for phase A2
    • CNES confirmed the new baseline with no Nasa procurement
    • the current assumption is to keep the US technology for phase A2 
    • in parallel, will push feasibility of other items: ADR + FPUs
    • ESA had positive reaction to this change 
    • Fabio insisted on the fact that it is very important to explore the Technological Transfer option from US to Europe. Otherwise difficult for Europe 
    • Action on Masashi, Thierry, Adriain Ludo, to study the TT option
    • It will be discussed soon with Adrian 
  • Masaki proposed a new Interagency meeting very soon, to push on the new baseline procurement 


  • the note by our director matches with a report by Lodo. 


  • buy vs tech transf option discussion at IGB. 
  • funding for the US scientific activity is still an issue


  • they committed to reach TRL 6
  • feasibility study fund by ESA is investigating detectors development, not TT


  • Even if we make a copy of the US design, we still need a feasibility study. 


  • critical review of the US design, and then see if we have the capability to reproduce as a starting point
  • can we do something better, in terms of radiation coupling


  • Italy has been contacted by Elena Saenz for potential detectors study
  • a meeting of Italian community occurred
  • a meeting with ESA will be held next week or later 
  • the document by Adrian can be shared
  • it was mentioned the SeeQC company, which has a branch in Italy 


  • Italy should involve Thierry and Ludo in the discussion 


  • it will be good to send a representative of the ESC to the inter-agency meeting. 


  • for Masaki this is an agency meeting, and the collaboration is not invited. 
  • Thierry is invited as Cnes. 


  • about acceptable delay asked by Fabio
  • Is a 3 years delay acceptable?
  • Jaxa seems willing to accept a delay, while Masashi made the point that this is not favorable. 


  • Masaki asked the collaboration to give a requirement 
  • Masashi is trying to keep the delay as short as possible 


  • how to convince US vs TT before decadal outcome?


  • part of the answer will come soon from decadal


  • I guess it will be vague. Then more time will be needed to define the US roadmap


  • They have to start the process if they want activity by the end 2022. 


  • if there is a favourable review, this will open to other possibilities, such as PICO. 


  • if NASA commits we may lose ESA. 
  • ESA is willing to lead 


  • we will not know in advance


  • Is it in our interest to try to convince the US to go for a TT now?
  • without waiting for decadal?


  • there are many uncertainties. We don’t know who is receiving the TT today. 


  • the US array design is not unique at the moment. Nothing really impossible in terms of processing. Cambridge has a lot of expertise. We may not need TT. 
  • most of the TT is present in already publications


  • if UK want to repeat LiteBIRD specific technology, with TRL 6, this will bring a delay


  • Stafford mentioned that TT will speed up the process, and will cost a couple of years in any case. 
  • after the study, we will have more information about
  • Answering to Erminia, I am not sure we have a preferred option today, we may need to wait before taking a decision. 
  • It is better to have EU detectors developed in EU, but this may not be the best option for the mission. 
  • We want ESA onboard

Newly proposed LB members


  • Classe approved by Project scientist


  • replies from Paolo, Bruno and Giamapaolo. 
    • Paolo: what if we don’t use CLS
    • Bruno: CSL is already working on a test plan. They are very active. DIfficult to see the implication of the single members 
    • Giampaolo: they can contribute. Some overlap with absorbers activity  
  • What if CSL is then not part of LiteBIRD calib plan?


  • Reporting from meeting of the membership board:
  • The current configuration only applies to PhaseA. The full collaboration will change later. 
  • we decided to keep the simple style configuration at the moment. No tracking, no much counting. We will restructure the collaboration later.  Possibility of money based membership. 
  • Masashi wants to use this as a leverage to ask more to agencies 


  • in phase B we may end up with a very different number of people in the collaboration
  • it may be very hard for people in the collaboration to accept this
  • we will need a smooth transition 


  • there are political issues related to memberships
  • everything we do now, only apply for this phase
  • if CSL will not be used, CLS members will not be in the following phases. 


  • CSL is engaged in phase A already, in contact with MHFT and RF groups to coordinate and be complementary.
  • BELSPO is now convinced by the science community. If ESA commits to LiteBIRD, BELSPO will support the mission.  

Belgium proposal:

7 Members online are ok with Belgium proposal (Radek has left the meeting)

email needed to reach the quorum 


  • Chiocchetta ok
  • All instrumentalists ok by MHFT WG

7 Members online are ok with Italian proposal 

email needed to reach the quorum 

Update of our policy to guarantee vote outcome (Radek)


Gruber conference

nothing new. 

The idea is to go from Planck to LiteBIRD

Highlight the heritage of Planck for LB

Jan has been waiting for some feedback for 2 weeks.

Ludo can organize a small meeting. Inviting expert people on the topics proposed. 

Paolo to send specific topics for the systematics/DA item

Francesco suggests to add detectors to the list, given the current situation.