The ultraviolet researcher to investigate the emergence of life: a mission proposal to ESA's F-call

Ana I. Gómez De Castro, Ana I. De Isidro-Gómez, Diego De Leyva, Francesca Bachiotti, Julia León, Pol Ribes, Joan Manel Casalta, Carlos Miravet, Juan C. Vallejo, Mikhail Sachkov, Ada Canet, Boris Shustov, Raúl De La Fuente, Kevin France, Lucas Patty, Stefano Benetti, Asif Ud-Doula

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The mission Ultraviolet Researcher to Investigate the Emergence of Life (URIEL) is designed to carry out low dispersion (600-1,000) UV spectropolarimetry in the 140-400 nm spectral range to investigate the formation of planetary systems, its interaction with stellar winds and search for signatures of prebiotic molecules by remote sensing of small bodies in the Solar System (comets and meteorites) in near Earth orbit. URIEL is conceived as a 50cm primary telescope with a RitcheyChrétien mounting. The telescope is equipped with a single instrument, the ultraviolet spectropolarimeter, whose low dispersion will enable resolving the main spectral features whilst guaranteeing enough flux per resolution element for the Stokes parameters to be measured to an accuracy of 500 ppm in the full range. According to recent calculations based on the chemical analysis of meteorites, this accuracy suffices for the remote detection of alanine by its optical activity at 180 nm in nearby minor bodies. In this sense, URIEL is a pathfinder mission to the technology that will enable remote sensing of amino acids and addressing the source of the chirality imbalance in Earth's bio-molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022
Subtitle of host publicationUltraviolet to Gamma Ray
EditorsJan-Willem A. den Herder, Shouleh Nikzad, Kazuhiro Nakazawa
ISBN (Electronic)9781510653436
StatePublished - 2022
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray - Montreal, United States
Duration: Jul 17 2022Jul 22 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2022: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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