I3 : Fundamental physics and Geophysics in space

Check out the project news!

  • Through the space projects they have been or are pursuing, IPGP and APC have acquired an expertise in precision measurements of distances, times and acceleration in astrophysics, fundamental physics in space, Planetary surface, Earth surface and ocean bottom, as well as a leading role in France in the coordination of missions closely associated to these techniques, e.g. French LISA office (LISA France) and the French Planetary seismometer, selected onboard the NASA/INSIGHT mission.


    The techniques involved are necessarily associated with high technology and often extreme precision, requiring unprecedented levels of noise control (often in harsh conditions and measurements at very low frequency) and space-compliant instruments. These techniques represent the path to the future and developing them will allow progress not only in the understanding of the most fundamental aspects of our environment, whether it is the Earth, solar system planets or the Universe at large, but also in the technological prospects for forthcoming space missions. They are indeed closely related with cutting edge knowledge and technologies such as nanotechnologies, high precision distance measurements, solid state physics, etc.


    The goal of this WP is to continue R&D efforts in these domains, in order:

    • to explore new technologies in acceleration measurements (e.g. with optical or quantum devices, including cold atoms, high temperature superconducting squids and tunneling diodes in the displacement or gravity sensors head, satellite/satellite laser and radio ranging),
    • furthermore reduce mass and integrate control electronics (e.g. with the development of Asics, hybrids and highly integrated 3D packaging),
    • precisely understand the physics of extremely low thrust engine (e.g. surface and chemical effects of ion sources used for micro-newton thrusters)
    • and highly improve insulating structure and packaging by controlling thermal transfers at the nanoscale (e.g. nano thermal coating and micro-design of thermal insulations).

  • Planetary Seismometer TEAM ( IPGP)

    Philippe Lognonné, IPGP, Professor (Université Paris Diderot), Planetary and Space Science, lognonne@ipgp.fr

    Sébastien de Raucourt, IPGP, Research Engineer (Université Paris Diderot) Planetary and Space Science, deraucourt@ipgp.fr

    Olivier Robert, IPGP, Research Engineer (CNRS) Planetary and Space Science, Roberto@ipgp.fr

    eLISA team (APC)

    Hubert Halloin, APC, Assistant Professor (Université Paris Diderot), hubert.halloin@apc.univ-paris7.fr

    Eric Plagnol, APC, Research Director (CNRS), eric.plagnol@apc.univ-paris7.fr

    Gérard Auger, APC, Research Director (CNRS), gerard.auger@apc.univ-paris7.fr


    Students and post-docs

    Henri Inchauspe, PhD, characterization of micro-newton thrusters with LISA Pathfinder, henri.inchauspe@apc.univ-paris7.fr

    John Nelson, post-doc, design and realization of an optical readout for seismometer, john.nelson@apc.univ-paris7.fr

  • Coming soon
    • A SPACE VERY BROAD BAND (VBB) SEISMOMETER Insight : The next NASA Discovery 12 Mission to MARS

    O.Robert, J.Gagnepain-Beyneix, T. Nébut, S. Tillier, S. Deraucourt, K.Hurst, T. Gabsi, P.Lognonné, W.B.Banerdt, D.Mimoun, M. Bierwirth, S. Calcutt, U.Christensen, D. Giardini, L. Kerjean, Ph. Laudet, D. Mance, R. Perez, T.Pike, R. Roll, P. Zweifel, and the SEIS Team

    Download : http://www.ipgp.fr/pages/02050612.php