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Announcement of Opportunity for the PROBA 3 Coronagraph

Announcement of Opportunity for the PROBA 3 Coronagraph

The European Space Agency (ESA) solicits proposals for the provision of a coronagraph for the PROBA 3 mission. This Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is open to scientists from the Member States of ESA and other communities with which reciprocity or specific agreements exist.

This AO is now closed.

Update: 27 August 2009 - updated documentation
The following files have been updated (also in the download zip file):
PROBA 3 Coronagraph - AO
PROBA 3 Payload Requirements and Definition Document (PRDD).

Update: 4 August 2009 - new instrument included.
Note: An Absolute Radiometer and Sun Sensor (ARaSS) has been included in the coronagraph AO, see ARaSS Definition Document in the right-hand menu.

A new applicable document for the coronagraph and ARaSS has been added: PROBA 3 Environmental Specification issue 1.1.

Update: 15 July 2009 - new deadline
Note: The deadline for receipt of proposals has been pushed back to 12 noon CEST on 15 September 2009.

The PROBA 3 project

PROBA 3 is the third project of the technology demonstration Project for Onboard Autonomy (PROBA) from the ESA Directorate of Technical and Quality Management at ESTEC, the Netherlands.

PROBA 3 is devoted to the in-orbit demonstration of formation-flying techniques and technologies. One of the high level objectives of the PROBA 3 project is the observation of the solar corona as part of the demonstration of formation flying.

The mission will be implemented with a pair of small spacecraft which together form a coronagraph. One spacecraft will carry the main optical bench and associated detectors, electronics, etc., while the second spacecraft will carry the occulter. Each spacecraft will be able to manoeuvre itself. The typical separation distance between the spacecraft will be about 150 m.

The PROBA 3 coronagraph

The PROBA-3 coronagraph is conceived so as to fully exploit the unprecedented access to the inner solar corona offered by formation flight. Conceptually, it is a classical, white light, externally-occulted Lyot coronagraph, but adapted to the formation flying configuration: the coronal imager/coronagraph is carried by one spacecraft entirely protected from direct sunlight by remaining in the shadow of the occulting disk hosted by the other spacecraft. The inter-satellite distance of 150 m allows reaching the corona close to the solar limb with very low stray light and almost no vignetting.

The coronagraph is therefore designed to obtain high-resolution images of the solar corona (continuum and coronal emission lines) over a field-of-view of 1.04 - 3 Rsol (with a goal of 1.02 - 4 Rsol) in both unpolarized and polarized light, as well as to perform 2-dimensional spectroscopy of several visible coronal emission lines to carry out diagnostic measurements of the properties of the coronal plasma. The coronagraph should be capable of detecting low contrast features and emission lines in the corona.

AO documentation and Proposal Information Package

The Announcement of Opportunity document (see right-hand menu) contains detailed information about the AO including a comprehensive description of the required content of the proposal. It also describes the Letter of Endorsement from the funding agency of the Principal Investigator that must accompany each proposal, and outlines the responsibilities of the funding agencies and the instrument consortia.

The Proposal Information Package accompanying this Announcement of Opportunity comprises six supporting documents:

  1. PROBA 3 Mission Requirements Document (MRD) (Ref: P3-EST-RS-1006)
  2. PROBA 3 Payload Requirements and Definition Document (PRDD) (Ref: P3-EST-RP-7007)
  3. PROBA 3 Science Management Plan (SMP) (Draft)
  4. PROBA 3 Mission Analysis Report (Ref: P3-EST-TN-7002)
  5. PROBA 3 Product Assurance Requirements (Ref: P3-EST-RS-1005)
  6. PROBA 3 Example of cost estimate (This is an MS Excel file)

Links to all of these documents, as well as a single zip file containing all documents, can be found in the right-hand menu.

The letter issued by the Director of Science and Robotic Exploration soliciting responses to the AO can be downloaded from the right-hand menu (see "Invitation to respond to PROBA 3 AO").

Timetable for this call

7 July 2009 Announcement of Opportunity is issued
15 September 2009
(12 noon CEST)
Deadline for receipt of proposals in response to the AO

Submission process

Proposals in response to this AO must be submitted electronically using the submission form - see link in right-hand menu - and as hardcopy and on CDROMs. Please consult the instructions regarding the content of the proposal format in the Announcement of Opportunity document before submitting a proposal.


Before submission of proposals, requests for further information and clarification should be addressed to:

C. P. Escoubet
P.O. Box 299
2200 AG Noordwijk
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 71 565 3454
Fax: +31 71 565 4697

D. Mueller
Mail Code 671.1
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Tel: +1 301 286 6983
Fax: +1 301 286 0264

Agnes Mestreau-Garreau
P.O. Box 299
2200 AG Noordwijk
The Netherlands


Last Update: 1 September 2019
29-May-2023 04:47 UT

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