Protoplanetary Disk Science with the Orbiting Astronomical Satellite Investigating Stellar Systems (OASIS) Observatory

Kamber R. Schwarz, Joan Najita, Jennifer Bergner, John Carr, Alexander Tielens, Edwin A. Bergin, David Wilner, David Leisawitz, Christopher K. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Orbiting Astronomical Satellite for Investigating Stellar Systems (OASIS) is a NASA Astrophysics MIDEX-class mission concept, with the stated goal of Following water from galaxies, through protostellar systems, to Earth’s oceans. This paper details the protoplanetary disk science achievable with OASIS. OASIS’s suite of heterodyne receivers allow for simultaneous, high spectral resolution observations of water emission lines spanning a large range of physical conditions within protoplanetary disks. These observations will allow us to map the spatial distribution of water vapor in disks across evolutionary stages and assess the importance of water, particularly the location of the midplane water snowline, to planet formation. OASIS will also detect the H2 isotopologue HD in 100+ disks, allowing for the most accurate determination of total protoplanetary disk gas mass to date. When combined with the contemporaneous water observations, the HD detection will also allow us to trace the evolution of water vapor across evolutionary stages. These observations will enable OASIS to characterize the time development of the water distribution and the role water plays in the process of planetary system formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Flight mission concept
  • Heterodyne spectral resolution
  • Protoplanetary disk science
  • THz spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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