ESA Science & Technology - Publication Archive
CHEOPS is ESA's CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite. It is the first mission dedicated to studying bright, nearby stars that are already known to host exoplanets, in order to make high-precision observations of the planet's size as it passes in front of its host star. It will focus on planets in the super-Earth to Neptune size range, with its data enabling the bulk density of the planets to be derived – a first-step characterisation towards understanding these alien worlds.
- Why exoplanets
- Enter CHEOPS
- How CHEOPS will characterise exoplanets
- Designing a planet watcher
- A European collaboration
- Welcome onboard!
CHEOPS is a space science mission dedicated to the study of known exoplanets orbiting bright, nearby stars. It will use the technique of ultra-high precision photometry to measure accurate sizes of a large sample of Earth to Neptune-sized planets. By combining the accurate sizes determined by CHEOPS with existing mass measurements, it will be possible to establish the bulk density and composition of the planets; these, together with information on the host stars and the planets' orbits will be used to determine the planets' formation and evolutionary history.
CHEOPS is a small satellite with a total launch mass of approximately 300 kg and dimensions of 1.55m (height) × 1.49m (width, measured from solar array edge to edge) × 1.4m (depth).
The dark colours used in this paper model are representative of the true colours of the various spacecraft components. The paper model's scale is 1:15 when printed on DIN A4 paper.
CHEOPS is a partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Switzerland.
This Definition Study Report (also known as the Red Book) presents the outcome of the CHEOPS Definition study. It describes the resulting mission concept that will fulfil the mission science requirements, and therefore allow us to achieve the science objectives presented in the original proposal, and further detailed and elaborated in this document.