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Instrument Development Award 2019

For the instrumentation of the Gaia mission the German Astronomical Society awards the prize to Lennart Lindegren, Erik Høg, and Michael Perryman.
Instrument Development Award 2019

Lennart Lindegren, Erik Høg, Michael Perryman (Photos: M. Majewski, M. Perryman, Niels Bohr Institute)

 

The Instrument Development Award was established in 2016 by the Astronomical Society and is awarded for the design, development, construction and significant extension of an astronomical instrument that led to remarkable progress in astrophysical research.

For the instrumentation of the Gaia mission the German Astronomical Society awards the prize to Erik Høg (Copenhagen, Denmark), Michael Perryman (Bath, England) and Lennart Lindegren (Lund, Sweden). Gaia is one of the most successful space missions. The second data release, published in April 2018, already led to more than one thousand scientific publications – an enormous success which is just a foretaste of the full scientific breakthrough expected by Gaia.

Developed by a large and complex group of astronomers and engineers the three awardees stand out in particular: while Lennart Lindegren made fundamental contributions to the data analysis and auto-calibration, the other two awardees were of paramount importance to Gaia's instrumental and operational development. Erik Høg has been a leading innovator in modern astrometry in the optical spectral range. Michael Perryman played a crucial role in the organisational development of the project and its implementation at ESA.