On Wednesday 26 July, the first Consortium meeting of the ESA ARRAKIHS mission kicked off at the Institute of Space Sciences (ICE-CSIC). For three days, over 30 participants discussed the status of the preparation of the mission, including technical, operational and scientific challenges.
During the Consortium Meeting´s opening session Ignasi Ribas, ICE-CSIC researcher and IEEC Director, welcomed participants into the institute. Rafael Guzmán, researcher from the Physics Institute of Cantabria (IFCA-CSIC-UC) and ARRAKIHS coordinator provided an overview of the mission. The session was closed by ICE-CSIC and IEEC researcher Santiago Serrano who presented the mission and payload concept baseline.
Santiago Serrano (left), Ignasi Ribas (middle) and Rafael Guzmán (right) during the opening session of the first ARRAKIHS Consortium meeting. Credits: ICE-CSIC.
The ARRAKIHS mission, approved by ESA in November 2022, will study the existing dark matter in the universe. ARRAKIHS is the first mission of the ESA Science Program led by Spain, in particular, by the Physics Institute of Cantabria (IFCA), a joint centre of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the University of Cantabria (UC), aiming at being launched in 2030.
ICE-CSIC and IEEC provide major contributions in Instrumentation and Science for the ARRAKIHS mission. IEEC currently coordinates the main instrument of the payload, with contributions from an international ARRAKIHS consortium. Additionally, contributions to the Fine Guidance System and characterisation of the visible and infrared detectors are expected to be supported by ICE-CSIC and its facilities. On the Science side, the ICE-CSIC Cosmology group is contributing with unique Cosmological Simulations, as well as participating in the ESA Science Study Team.
For more information, please visit the ARRAKIHS webpage.