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PLATO Performance

Cabrera, J.; Rauer, H.; Börner, A.; Grießbach, D.; Paproth, C.; Samadi, R.; Appourchaux, T.

The PLATO mission (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars, hereafter abbreviated as PLATO) has been selected as part of ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015–2025 program for the M3 mission launch foreseen in 2026. The main science goal of PLATO is to detect and characterize extrasolar planets, including terrestrial planets in the habitable zone (HZ) of their host stars. Characterization here means to derive accurate planetary radii, masses, and ages. In order to achieve these goals, it is mandatory to characterize the host stars. As transit search is an indirect detection and characterization method, the accurate knowledge of the host star parameters limits the accuracy of the derived planet parameters. PLATO will therefore monitor hundreds of thousands of stars for up to three years in order to fully characterize stars with asteroseismology and to detect transiting planets. The resulting large data set of stellar light curves provides an additional science return of the mission that reaches far beyond the exoplanet science case into stellar, Galactic, and extragalactic research.

PLATO Payload features a multi-telescope configuration consisting of 26 cameras, of 12 cm pupil size aperture each, covering a field of view of about 2000 square degrees spread over 104 CCDs of 20 million pixels a piece. PLATO has strict noise requirements achieved through excellent optics transmission and quantum efficiency, low read-out noise, and stringent pointing requirements.

In this talk we will review the drivers for PLATO Performance and present the most recent description of the status of noise budget and verification of main performance requirements (including field of view and pointing performance).

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