Testing CHEOPS at the University of Bern
The space telescope dedicated to characterize exoplanets is taking shape. A camera installed in a clean room shows how the CHEOPS team prepares the structural and thermal model for tests in the vacuum chamber.
In the huge test chamber the CHEOPS engineers run thermal cycles on the telescope’s structural and thermal model (STM): under vacuum they subject the STM to temperatures from minus 60 to 140 degrees Celsius.
CHEOPS will search for exoplanet transits of bright stars already known to host planets. By combining a very precise measurement of the planet’s radius with previously measured masses the average density of the planet can be determined. CHEOPS is an ESA mission implemented in partnership with Switzerland. The science instrument is led by the University of Bern whereas ESA is responsible for the procurement of the spacecraft and launch. The small spacecraft with a total mass of 280 kg will operate from an orbit between 650 and 800 km. Launch is planned for the end of 2017. The Science Operations Center will be located at the University of Geneva.
For more information please visit the CHEOPS homepage: http://cheops.unibe.ch