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The Fundamental Physics Explorer - Technology Reference Study Final Report

The Fundamental Physics Explorer - Technology Reference Study Final Report

Publication date: 12 December 2007

Authors: Binns, D.

Volume: SCI-PA/2007.025/FPE/DB
Issue: 1
Year: 2007

Copyright: ESA

Our understanding of the Universe has come under increased scrutiny over the last 25 years. New instruments have opened fascinating perspectives for testing General Relativity, alternative theories of gravitation, as well as studying quantum mechanics and exploring the boundaries of quantum gravity. Violations of the principle laws of the currently underlying theories can give clues to aid the unification of the four physical forces, or lead the way for the discovery of new interactions and particles.

The aim of the Fundamental Physics Explorer (FPE) is to provide the means to test the the foundations of modern physics in a cost effective and efficient manner. The FPE programme could consist of up to three spacecrafts, each re-using a small platform, accessing space to take advantage of an almost constantly unperturbed environment, thus improving the precision of current measurements. More specifically, the FPE Technology Reference Study (TRS) aims to identify the key technologies required and the technical challenges associated with fundamental physics missions.

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