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Planetek Hellas delivers to ESA new web tools to exploit the Planck satellite’s Legacy Archive

Athens, 3 April 2018: Planetek Hellas has successfully delivered to the European Space Agency (ESA) the Planck Legacy Archive Added-Value Interface (PLAAVI). The PLAAVI consists of a set of added-value web tools that permit scientists to perform remote processing on the Planck products, which reside physically in the online ESA archive hosted at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), in Madrid.

The scientific community around the world can now perform additional remote processing on products in the Planck archive, something that is expected to increase significantly the uptake of the data and the impact of the mission.

Jan Tauber, ESA’s Planck Project Scientist said: “the functionality provided by PLAAVI will help scientists who are not very familiar with details of the Planck data to use it in their astrophysical analysis. I am very happy to be able to offer this facility, and I expect an enhanced utilization of our Archive will result from it”.

For this successful delivery, Planetek Hellas collaborated with Planck scientists from the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics of the University of Oslo, Norway, who participated in the team through Expert Analytics (XAL), a spinoff company of the SIMULA Research Center.

Stelios Bollanos, Director and Co-founder of Planetek Hellas said: “This delivery is an excellent example of our ability to understand well the needs of the space scientific community and provide robust industrial software engineering services in support of ESA’s activities for Mandatory Programs”.

The PLAAVI web tools permit to perform processes on the Planck products such as: component subtraction, unit conversion, colour correction, bandpass transformation, masking of map-cutouts or full-sky maps, component separation, map-making using two different types of time-ordered data, effective beam averaging and noise map cutout.

The PLAAVI functionality can be accessed via the main Planck Legacy Archive (PLA) website. For more technical information please consult the dedicated documentation.


About the Planck Mission

The Planck satellite, during its operational period from 2009 to 2013, orbited the Earth near the Lagrange 2 point, 1.5 Million km from Earth. Its main objective was to measure the fluctuations of the Cosmic Microwave Background – the most ancient light in the history of the Universe – with an accuracy set by fundamental astrophysical limits, charting the most accurate maps to date. The Planck maps are used today by scientists and will be used in the future by the generations of scientists to come, in order to analyze and compare theories of the birth of the universe and bring us closer to answering the fundamental question “How did everything start?”. More info at https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Planck

About European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organization with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programs and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. More info at https://www.esa.int/

About Planetek Hellas

Planetek Hellas is a Greek company, member of the Planetek Group, based in Athens, Greece and active in the field of Earth Observation and Geo-Analytics, as well as Design and Development for the On-Board and Ground Segment Space Software. Clients of the company are today some of the most important actors at European level, such as the European Space Agency, the European Union Satellite Centre and others. The company is a founding member of the si-cluster in Athens and a full member of the Hellenic Association of Space Technology and Applications Industry. More info at www.planetek.gr