The Ariel ground segment and instrument operations science data centre

Pearson, Chris; Malaguti, Giuseppe; Sarkar, Subhajit; Papageorgiou, Andreas; Krijger, Matthijs; Pascale, Enzo; Beaulieu, Jean-Philippe; Colomé, Josep; Diolaiti, Emiliano; Doublier, Vanessa; Eccleston, Paul; Micela, Giusi; Moneti, Andrea; Morales, Juan Carlos; Nakhijiri, Nariman; Polenta, Gianluca; Ribas, Ignasi; Tinetti, Giovanna; Kohley, Ralf; Pilbratt, Göran; Birkmann, Stephan; Alves de Oliveira, Catarina; Rank-Lüftinger, Theresa; Puig, Ludovic; Salvignol, Jean-Christophe and Symonds, Kate (2022). The Ariel ground segment and instrument operations science data centre. Experimental Astronomy, 53 pp. 773–806.



The ground segment for the ESA M4 Ariel exoplanet space mission is introduced. The ground segment encompasses the framework necessary to support the development of the Ariel mission to launch, in-flight operations and calibration, data processing pipeline and data handling, including user support. The structure of the ground segment and assumed responsibilities between ESA and the Ariel mission consortium is explained, along with their interfaces. The operational phases for the mission are introduced, including the early commissioning/verification phases, the science operations and the calibration strategy. The smooth transition of the ground segment through the various pre/post launch mission phases to nominal operations will be paramount in guaranteeing the success, scientific return and impact of the Ariel mission. The expected science data products are defined and a representative data processing pipeline is presented.

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