ARRAKIHS: The New ESA F-Class Mission to Investigate the Nature of Dark Matter


Rafael Guzman




Donostia International Physics Center (hybrid seminar)


Aitzol Garcia-Etxarri

The "Analysis of Resolved Remnants of Accreted galaxies as a Key Instrument for Halo Surveys" (ARRAKIHS) mission will explore the ultra-low surface brightness universe to investigate the nature of Dark Matter using a visible+infrared camera on board a small satellite in Low Earth Orbit. ARRAKIHS was selected in November 2022 as the next F-class mission at ESA with an estimated launch date in 2030. The goal of ARRAKIHS is to test the predictions of different Dark Matter models and baryon physics mechanisms on the halo structure as well as on the statistics of halo satellites and stellar streams for a representative sample of MW-type galaxies in the nearby Universe. In the first part of this talk, I will provide an update on the mission baseline concept of ARRAKIHS after successfully passing the Mission Definition Review last September. In the second part of this talk, I will present other new scientific and commercial applications provided by the new generation of small satellites aimed to solve some of the big challenges we face as a global society at the dawn of the XXI century, based on my own experience as co-founder of Satlantis, a spinoff company of the University of Florida. I will also share some of the lessons learnt aimed to encourage future generations of young scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs.