This research project is divided into three main lines. The first one is conceived to establish the first links of cooperation in the next generation of European scientific satellites of stellar photometry. The PLATO mission, which is in preliminary studies phase, competes with another mission to be funded by ESA in the phase A of studies by 2010. Some key issues related to the photometric precision can still be answered by the end of 2009. The second line of research aims to continue the Brazilian collaboration established for years with the Observatory of Paris in the scientific mission CoRoT. The goal is to improve the quality of the determination of the point spread function (PSFs) of the exoplanets channel, increasing the detectability of planets. This can be done by the correction of pixels affected by high-energy particles in the images and by filtering the parasite stars close to the target ones. The third line of research deals with the development of the simulation model of a star tracker, which is an optical device used in satellites to measure the position of the spacecraft by observing stellar fields. This model serves as the basis for the development of the onboard software of these sensors, as well as to support their project. It includes the modeling of the detection electronics, the optical system and the environmental and instrumental noises.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: