Research & Exploration Activity
The INSIGHT Lander testbed at JPL in California. Team picture with
Marleen Martinez-Sundgaard (JPL testbed lead, standing right), the CNES Toulouse team (standing left)
including Nicolas Verdier (kneeling, left), Melanie Drilleau, Philippe Lognonne, Sebastien de Raucourt
(kneeling, right), Ehouarn Millour and me (LMD, standing, center) (30/11/2018)
Involvement in space missions
- INSIGHT (NASA Mars Lander 2018)
- Collaborator. In charge of large scale meteorological studies.
- EXOMARS (ESA):
- 2016: Interdisciplinary Scientist (IDS) of the Exomars 2016 mission
- Co-Principal investigator of the Atmospheric Mars Entry Landing Investigations and Analysis AMELIA, on the ESA 2016 Mars
Descent Module Demonstrator Schiaparelli
- Project Manager for the characterization of the atmospheric environment, Exomars 2016 Descent Module
(contracts Thales-Alenia, ESA, CNES)
- Lead co-investigator of the suite of spectrometers Atmospheric Chemistry Suite (ACS, PI : O. Korablev) aboard the
Exomars Trace Gas Orbiter 2016. In charge of the ACS data assimilation.
- Co-investigator on the DREAMS surface scientific payload on the ESA 2016 Mars Descent Module Demonstrator, including
the MicroARES electric field sensor.
- Exomars 2020: Member of the Exomars 2020 Landing Site Selection Working Group
- Project Manager for the characterization of the atmospheric environment, Exomars 2020 Lander
(contracts Thales-Alenia, ESA, CNES)
- Mars Express (ESA, around Mars since 2003):
- Interdisciplinary Scientist (IDS) in charge of the atmosphere and surface-atmosphere interaction sciences.
- Co-investigator of OMEGA (NIR imaging spectrometer) and SPICAM (UV and NIR spectrometer) on Mars
- Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (NASA) :
- Co-investigator of the Mars Climate
Sounder (MCS), a thermal infrared limb sounder in orbit since 2005 (PI, D. McCleese, JPL, USA).
(Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey , selected by ESA for a ~2027 launch):
Member of the proposing team
DAVINCI (Projects of Venus atmospheric descent probes, NASA),
- NASA MARS 2020 rover :
Instrument Scientist on the proposed MARs Boundary Layer Lidar experiment (MARBLL) with PI Franck
- In 2010, Co-Principal Investigator of the Submillimeter Observations for Atmospheric Research (SOAR) to be
developed in the USA (JPL, M. Allen) and France. Proposed for the Exomars Trace Gas Orbiter and selected in payload B. Too expensive !
- In 2000-2002 : Principal Investigator of the "Mars Atmosphere Microwave Brightness Observer" (MAMBO), planned
to be the first microwave sounder around another planet (cancelled in phase B along with the Mars PREMIER mission).
My research is primarily focused on the development of Global Climate Models (GCM) designed to accurately simulate the environment
on other planets. The scientific applications are countless. On this basis, I am also deeply involved in space exploration, observations
analysis, and space instrumentation
- Modelling and theoretical studies on Extra-solar planets and their habitability
Development of a new kind of 3D Universal climate model aiming at simulating any terrestrial atmospheres with any given cocktail of
gases, clouds and aerosols, for any planetary size, and around any star. Applications :
- Study of the habitability of Proxima b and the environment on Trappist-1 worlds (with my student Martin Turbet)
- Demonstration that Gliese 581d is the first discovered terrestrial planet in the habitable zone (with post-doc R. Wordsworth)
- First 3D modelling of the runaway greenhouse phenomenon at the inner edge of the habitable zone (with postdoc J. Leconte).
- 3D simulations of the Early Earth Climate (Archean). Resolution of the faint young sun problem (with my student B. Charnay).
- And much more...
- Development of the first complete Pluto global climate model (including the methane cycle) and interpretation of the the NASA New
Horizons mission in 2015 (with my students T. Bertrand & M. Vangvichith, LMD)
- Explication of the distribution of glaciers and Pluto on Pluton with a Pluto thermal model
able to run for 30 millions years
- Triton: Development of the first complete Global Climate Model of Triton, satellite of Neptune observed by Voyager 2
- Venus: Development of the first true General Circulation Model of the Venus atmosphere (project led by Sebastien
- Development of the LMD Mars Global Climate Model (GCM), used by several teams around the world.
- Analysis of Mars Spacecraft observations: ESA Mars Express, Current NASA Missions, Exomars Trace Gas orbiter, etc. (see above)
PI of the Mars Climate database
project supported by ESA -since 1995- and CNES -since 2001. This a reference
engineering and scientific tool used to prepare and analyse almost all missions to Mars.
The full version has been delivered to more than 450 teams in 25 different countries.
The database is also available on an
- Analysis of the Martian CO2, dust and water cycle, using both modelling and data analysis
- Development of mesoscale and microscale Mars atmospheric model (project led by Aymeric Spiga)
- Explanation of the glacial and periglacial landforms
on Mars by the climate variations related to the variations of the obliquity and orbital parameters.
- Proposition of a new formation scenario for the famous Martian Gullies ,
induced by CO2 ice (with C. Pilorget, IAS).
- Development of the first coupled mars atmosphere-thermosphere-ionosphere model
(with M. Angelats i Coll, F. Gonzalez-Galindo and J-Y. Chaufray,
- Development of the first 3D photochemical model of the Martian atmosphere (project led by Franck Lefevre, LATMOS).
Prediction of Ozone, and investigation on the Martian Methane enigma.
- Development of 3D models to solve the Early Mars Climate Enigma,
3.8 Billions years ago. Proposition of the ``Icy Highland Scenario'' (with R. Wordsworth);
Modeling of the effect of CO2 ice clouds, asteroids impacts, outflow channels floods,
reduced gases (with M. Turbet).