Announcement of Opportunity for PLATO Payload and Science Ground Segment Components
22 July 2010The PLATO Announcement of Opportunity (AO) solicits proposals from a single consortium to cover all nationally-funded contributions to the mission, namely: a) The payload (scientific instruments); b) Elements of the Science Ground Segment (SGS); and c) Consortium-appointed membership in the PLATO Science Team (PST). The deadline for submission of proposals is 29 October 2010, 12:00 CET.
Direct link to this AO page:
The AO is open to individuals and scientific groups affiliated with institutions in ESA Member States. The schedule for the complete AO cycle and the PLATO programme is given below. Full details on the submission and proposal evaluation criteria are given in the PLATO AO document, which is included in the proposal information package (see documentation section below).
PLATO is an ESA mission with contributions from the ESA Member States and with a potential international participation. PLATO is currently in a competitive Definition Phase, together with Euclid and Solar Orbiter, as an M-class mission candidate for the 2017/2018 M1/M2 launch opportunities of the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Plan. At most two out of the current three candidates will be adopted for implementation in 2011. The responses to the current AO must be binding for the Definition Phase and in draft form for the Implementation Phase. Should PLATO not be adopted in 2011 for a launch in 2017 or 2018, all activities undertaken during the Definition Phase as a result of the present AO will cease.
It is the intention to select the Consortium for the PLATO mission on the basis of the present AO. Therefore, the proposal shall include all Consortium elements necessary for the Implementation Phase, clearly defining the task and level of commitment.
The schedule for the PLATO AO and approval cycle is:
|July 22, 2010||Release of AO for PLATO|
|July 29, 2010||Submission of Letter of Intent and questions for briefing|
|August 27, 2010 (TBC)||Briefing meeting|
|October 29, 2010
|Deadline for submission of proposals|
|November 1, 2010 - January 2011||Proposal evaluation|
|January 5, 2011||Evaluation results to AWG|
|January 25-26, 2011||AWG recommendation|
|February 1-2, 2011||SSAC recommendation|
|February 10-11, 2011||SPC decision|
|March - May 2011||ESA/Consortium/Funding agencies iterations to support M-class Mission selection|
|May 2011||Formal release of updated AO documents for implementation phase|
|June 2011||Completion of industrial studies (Phase A)|
|June 21-22, 2011||M-class mission selection by SPC|
|July 2011||Final proposal for implementation phase|
|July-September 2011||Final proposal evaluation|
|July-October 2011||MLA negotiations with national funding agencies PLATO|
|October 2011||Evaluation results to AWG|
|October 2011||AWG recommendation|
|November 2-3, 2011||SSAC recommendation|
|November 16-17, 2011||Consortium confirmation by SPC and MLA SPC approval|
|December 2011||Completion of industrial studies (Phase B1)|
The proposal information package for this PLATO AO is available as a zip file and can be downloaded from the right-hand menu under "Documentation". This package includes the following documents:
- Cover Letter
- AO for PLATO Payload and Science Ground Segment
- PLATO Science Management Plan (SMP)
- PLATO Science Requirements Document (Sci-RD)
- Experiment Interface Document Part A (EID-A) draft
- Experiment Interface Document Part B (EID-B) template
- Proposal Templates
- Science Ground Segment Interfaces Document
The response to the present AO shall be split into four sections (or sub-proposals). The first section will cover the activities proposed to be carried out in the Definition Phase. The second section will be a draft proposal for the Implementation Phase. The third section will be the proposed PLATO Mission Consortium membership in the PST. The fourth section will consist of the Letters of Endorsement by the funding agencies.
For each of these four sub-proposals the cover page shall include:
- The title of the proposal,
- The names, addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail addresses of the proposal coordinators,
- The list of the supporting national funding agencies
Full details of the guidelines for the content of the four sub-proposals are in the PLATO AO document, which is included in the proposal information package (as file #2).
Proposals shall be submitted electronically in PDF format using the proposal submission form that is accessible through the link below, or in the right-hand menu (the form opens in a new window).
|Submission is closed|
The proposals must be received not later than: 29 October 2010 at 12:00 Central European Time (CET).
The four sub-proposals (Proposal for Definition Phase, Draft Proposal for Implementation Phase, Proposal for PLATO Science Team Members and collated Letters of Endorsement) shall be submitted as a single tar or zip archive containing each sub-proposal as a PDF document. Each sub-proposal shall be limited in size to 50 Mb.
Note: The two sub-proposals 'Draft Proposal for Implementation Phase' and 'collated Letters of Endorsement' shall be packed together into one tar or zip archive, meaning there are 3 instead of 4 tar/zip archives to make up a complete submission. See also the notes on the submission form.
In parallel, a hardcopy signed version shall be submitted by the same deadline to the following address:
Ana M. Heras
P.O. Box 299
2200 AG Noordwijk
The proposal contact person shall inform the address above by e-mail of the mailing date of the hardcopy version of the proposal and of the electronic submission. ESA will confirm by e-mail the reception of the proposal hardcopy and electronic version.
In addition, a copy of the complete proposal must be sent to each of the funding agencies that have provided a Letter of Endorsement.
Letter of Intent and briefing meeting
Proposing parties are requested to send a Letter of Intent by e-mail to the above address by 29 July 2010. It should contain the proposal title and the proposal contact person's name and contact details.
Possible questions in relation with the response to the AO may be attached. After reception of the Letter of Intent, ESA will invite the proposing parties to a briefing and clarification meeting that will be held on 27 August 2010 (TBC) at ESTEC. Submission of the Letter of Intent and attendance to the briefing meeting are compulsory.