Meeting Minutes - OST STDT Bi-Weekly Telecon - November 3, 2017


Origins Space Telescope (OST)

Science Technology and Definition Team (STDT) Telecon


Purpose: To discuss science activities for OST.Facilitator/Host:Margaret Mexiner/Spitzer Science Center

Telecon: WebEx Online

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Meeting Number:

1-855-749-4750 (Toll Free)


Access Code: 194 170 917

Scribe:Sydney Jones

Discussion Topics 

Goddard Study Office - Status:  Carter

  • See Carter's study office presentation: OST Study Office 20171103 rev1.pptx
    • Roellig posed question about less vibration to instruments  and distance of instrument housing. Carter added that we are assuming that more distance because of instrument housing will give us less vibration (think about vibration isolation scheme). 
      • Using MISC instrument to do pointing and jitter, it is easier if the system level fine steering mirror is used to do this. 
    • Advantages to having system level fine steering mirror (FSM) (can discuss this is management telecon)
    • Bradford added that a system level FSM would be beneficial for MRSS. 
      • How large can field of view be with this design? 30 microns possibly (question for next Tuesday's call)
      • Reviewed plots for linear and log scale for dead center PSF 
        • Melnick added/asked: that the off axis at the cross point for rectangular aperture is at ten to the minus six coronagraphs. Looking at light suppression where rectangles intersect -  down by a factor of ten to the sixth. Making lemonade from lemons, put a star Tin that  intersection you are suppressing light by 10 to the sixth at this plot, can a Jupiter be seen from 5-10 AU from that star? (Melnick noted that this is an interesting fact of this sort of rectangular aperture in getting deep suppression points across the aperture. If for any reason this is appealing this is a benefit of staying with off axis).
        • Take into account MISC illumination (Weidener added)
    • Melnick added: In LUVOIR meeting at GSFC, one of the things emphasized is that they will look for spectra in exoplanets around sunlight stars. In mentioning the number that OST anticipates getting (5 meter for M stars), they tend to undermine (poopoo) this. Conventional wisdom is that  life evolving around M stars is unlikely due to the amount of radiation emitted by m stars. LUVOIR wants to sell the notion that they are capable for looking for earth 2.0 (deep star) with statistical significance, and will get a number large enough, where if no bio-signatures are detected then earths are hard to detect. LUVIOR is aware of what OSTs arguments will be in terms of constructing arguments. Melnick added that it would be interesting to see statistics of number of stellar types to sample at 9.1 m and at 5 m (hopefully its not all m dwarfs). The two points that LUVIOR will make is that 1) convincing people that we are both capable of detecting biosignatures, for OST it is detecting m dwarfs. Surveying 20 m dwarfs and detect biosignatures for two of those, if they detect a higher percentage at different spectral types. 

Advocacy:  presentations & AAS  Brochure (byline & draft): Narayan/Battersby, & Meixner/Carter/Leisawitz

  • Presentation - Go through elements of what they did and discuss road map to achieve this (Sent link to presentation from Kartik Sheth)
    • Briefly ran through presentation. The presentation includes the following:
      • Four points of LUVIOR, sizes, had a very cool movie, tag line, basic things about what can be seen with 15 meter LUVOIR, discussed science capability, talk about going with a big telescope and do not talk about cost, basic science (protoplanetary disks, source of spectra received through simulation, how far out from milky way data can be collected, substructure, studies on CGM, public stuff
    • Suggestions for OST presentation
      • Define audience
        • Melnick added: intended for congressional staffers, looking at a $15-20B mission ($5B per decade), looking at four decades.
        • Leisewitz added that the audience is still public, apart from congressional staffers (possible to have two presentations for each audience (public and congressional) keeping science in sync). 
        • Liesewitz added: Gathered slide decks for each instruments, can pick and choose slide sets to populate the presentation (slides can be found on the instrument pages in the Wiki). 
      • Cooray: How to present slide deck? Instrument working group will figure out who can. 
      • Bradford: Need to show that star formation in the universe over cosmic time is dominated by that which isn't shotted in dust (capture this in a graphic)
      • Rolleig added: LUVOIR presentation shows pretty pictures.
      • Melnick responded: Can show optical picture of galactic molecular cloud that is black. Note that stars are formed in this cloud, infrared picture that penetrates whole thing. LUVOIR presentation does not mention detectors or optics but talks about questions that presentation can answer. For a public talk, OST needs needs to focus on really exciting questions to the man in the street that this telescope can directly address
    • Suggested Process (may take a while, but need to have something by Spring 2018)
      • Need to employ graphics people to make images and demonstrate phases of the ISM. 
      • Mexiner added/suggested: Making simulated image of what MRSS would see in deep field, in 3D, or animation. 
      • Still need some sort of image to capture the audience
      • Should talk more about instruments, and discuss things at a higher level
      • Leiseiwitz added: Requested for graphics to be sent from STDT to GSFC graphics department. 
      • Rolleig added: Is this being done in transits or by coronagraphs? This is being done with both. Better get it done in two transits.
      • Cooray: Can show images at 24 microns 
      • Roellig: May send out SOPHIA movie, frequencies and velocities, nebula, showing wealth of information to get from high spectral resolution and its a visually pretty. 
    • Rolleig suggested: Have repository (on Wiki) where we can find slides, and where people can post talks that are editable. Can we create a subpage on the advocacy website for Slides/Talks? 
      • Desika will create subpage on the conferences and talks page
    • Battersby: Include numbers or simulations instead of mimicing LUVOIR.
    • Exoplanet conference is next week (Kevin Stevenson will be there and may address these concerns about exoplanets). 
    • Make a deployment video for hyperwall 
    • This is not the keynote presentation.

Mission Concept 2:  Instrument Rescopes:

  • HERO
  • Spectral resolution and range of “MRSS+HRS”

Interim Report:  Cooray, Carter, Meixner

  • Interim report must be finalized by November 13, 2017. All final feedback must be sent on or before November 13, 2017. 

  • Send interim report to insrtument leads. 
  • Cooray added: Need to be careful about what we are doing. In a plot like this, he suggested removing two instruments and showing them with a disk.
  • Mexiner added: Idea behind of behind brocure (is to, as a astonomer, have an understanding of capabilities) is to give a gist of relative sensitivities of instruments. We can only have one brocure (not having a brochure for each isntrument). 
    • Show relative sensitivity in the plots 
    • Bradford added: Figure for extragalactic work, and figure for disk spectroscapy 
    • Leisawitz and Mexiner added: That Bradfords suggestion is too detailed. 
  • Need to be general and gist like
  • Plots 
    • Melnick suggested: Make molecules smaller and incorporate water molecules.
    • Mexiner asked what Steveson thought of plot: Basically looks like water and land.
      • Stevenson added that it doesn't convey biosignatures to him.
    • Descide on what to do with upper left quadrant
  • Brochure/PDF/ (audience is astronomy community)
    • Catch Phrase Ideas - Ideas for single catch phrase that captures essence of missionIn  (AAS washington page that Desika put together) 
      • A journey through time to present day life
      • follwoing the universe from simpliest atoms to habitable world
      • unveiling our origins
      • tracing life ingredients through cosmic history
      • finding lifes ingredients through cosmic history
      • New ones:
        • discovering the recipeie for planets like earth
        • finding our origins in the universe
        • finding elements dust and lifes ingredients. 
        • Charting the cosmic history of planets and life (Suggested by Bradford, to imply long term and origin of birth/slow birth)
        • From the Simplest Atoms to Habitable Worlds (Melnick suggested this, which was what guided his thoughts) 
    • Suggestions for Revising the Brochure
      • General Discussion  
        • More interesting to know wavelength coverage and instrument modes, and possibly spectroscapy (optimized for widefield surveys) (more instrument in this than mass and volume) 
        • Stevenson added: Does not see much science in the brochure. Suggested having page in brochure addressing science questions and including instrument modes that will address science questions. 
        • Mexiner added: Having a picture of observatory is good. 
        • Dedicate space in lower right corner, to a bulleted list of major science themes
        • Keep left side
        • Get rid of deployable pictures, keep SLS with launch date 
        • Put talking points in key questions (bottom right) 
        • Verify that questions look good 
        • Shirink the left side (light path) 
          • Shrink down to a word and have list if instruments and respective capabilities
        • Get rid of instrument images, and leave arrow and include instrument capabilties
        • Getting rid of mass and volume and includ wavelengths 
        • Include thermometer image on the side of observatory showing the tick mark for temperature for hubble, JWST and OST (highlighting OST differences from other telescopes)
      • Overview of Brochure Changes
        • Page two, keeping telescope and light path, get rid of instrument images on page two, and replace with wavelength and instrument characteristics.
        • Page three lower right half, images of launch and deployment sequences will be removed, and replaced with science talking points. 
        • Keep the launch date 
        • Do another rendition and ask for comments through email
        • STDT should take brochure and post on bulletin board at institution showing pretty image showing light, back side shows telescope (thats the things that they put up), inside shows text and instruments, and only one page for observatory. Inside will include instruments on one page and science on the other, and try to incorportate science case images (Have Klaus and Ted's, Alex is iterating with Jay, already have Joaquin's)

Action Items

#Action ItemOwner Due Date
1AAS presentation - Come up with outline and direction it will take.
Advocacy Group Desika Narayanan
2AAS - Request specific plots from exoplanet group, MRSS, etc. (will need specific image requests from imaging groups)
Advocacy Groups/Science Working Groups Desika Narayanan
3AAS - Create sub-page on conferences/talks/advocacy Wiki page for posting talks/slides
4Interim report - Send interim report to instrument leads for final markup before being send for formatting/making it pretty??
5Catch phrases - Put together google poll for catch phrase ideas 

Brochure - Be on email link for image (fourth quadrant) to make sure Gary and Kevin are happy with the end result. 

(put  complex image such as the one suggested by Kevin with earth and spectrum could go inside the brochure)