FISICA FP7 project

FISICA – “Far Infrared Space Interferometer Critical Assessment” – is a recently-started Framework 7 funded study, led by UCL, and Glyndŵr University is one of the partners.  Preliminary information can be found at the project website here, and the following is reproduced as an introduction to the project.

  • FISICA seeks to develop a spatial interferometer concept that will be able to resolve planets around nearby stars, or galaxies in distant clusters.
  • The interferometer is unique in two ways; it will be the first to operate at far-infared wavelengths and it will be able simultaneously to determine both the spatial and spectral nature of the target astronomical sources.
  • At these extreme IR wavelengths the Earth's atmosphere absorbs strongly, so the eventual interferometer must operate as a free flying or tethered satellite system.

A partnership of the National Facility with the Glyndŵr Composites Centre will develop the technology for metre+ scale light-weight carbon fibre composite mirrors, and will study methods to deploy such mirrors in space. The work-content includes manufacture of witness samples, including surface-coatings and CNC polishing.