Planets, Environments and Space Plasmas (PEPS)

Planets, Environments and Space Plasmas (PEPS)

Leader: Aurélie Marchaudon
Deputies: Nicolas André, Jérémie Lasue

The PEPS team members are interested in the set of processes governing the surfaces and space environments of the planets, moons and small bodies of the Solar System, as well as their interactions with the Sun and the solar wind. The developed themes are categorised into 4 main topics:

  • The properties of the plasma and the magnetic field at the surface and in the solar corona, as well as the emergence and propagation of the solar wind and solar flares in the interplanetary medium. The main means of observation are the space missions Solar Orbiter, Parker Solar Probe, Stereo and the Climso coronograph at the Pic du Midi.
  • The Earth’s space environment, from its interaction with the solar wind and the Moon in the outer magnetosphere to its internal coupling with the exosphere, ionosphere and upper atmosphere. The main means of observation are the space missions MMS, Cluster, (Taranis, failed launch in 2020), Swarm and the ground SuperDARN and Eiscat radars.
  • The properties of the environments of planets and small bodies of the Solar System taking into account their specificities (magnetic field, atmosphere, rings, satellites). The main past, present and future space missions are BepiColombo for Mercury, Venus Express and ENVISION for Venus, MAVEN and Mars Express for Mars, Juno and JUICE for Jupiter, Cassini for Saturn, Rosetta and Comet Interceptor for comets.
  • The study of planetary surfaces and small bodies of the Solar System (geological evolutions, mineralogical and chemical compositions, past environments) as well as their formation and evolution. The main present and future space missions are ChemCam/MSL-Curiosity, SuperCam/Mars2020-Perseverance and RLS/Exomars for Mars, M3/Chandrayaan-1 and DORN/Chang’e 6 for the Moon and laboratory instrument developments for Venus.

The PEPS team is deeply involved in instrumental developments of space missions, in theoretical developments and numerical modelling, in development of scientific analysis and archiving tools (CDPP, STORMS) and in outreach, teaching and valorisation activities towards industry and civil society (instrumental R&D, instrumental calibrations, scientific and technical expertise, Space Weather).

Objects of studies

To learn more about the projects and observation services of the PEPS team, click on the solar system objects you are insterested in …

Team members

  • André Nicolas, CNRS Researcher
  • Barros-Sousa Ana-filipa, PhD Student
  • Berger Gilles, CNRS Researcher
  • Berthomé Erwan, PhD Student
  • Blanc Michel, Emeritus CNAP Researcher
  • Blelly Pierre-Louis, CNRS Researcher
  • Caravaca Gwenaël, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Chen Zhaopeng, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Chevrel Serge, CNAP Researcher
  • Cousin Agnès, CNAP Researcher
  • Dahani Souhail, PhD Student
  • Dakeyo Jean-Baptiste, PhD Student
  • Dandouras Iannis, CNRS Researcher
  • Fau Amaury, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Forme Francois, UPS Professor-Researcher
  • Forni Olivier, CNRS Researcher
  • Fruit Gabriel, UPS Lecturer-Researcher
  • Gannouni Bahaeddine, PhD Student
  • Garnier Philippe, UPS Lecturer-Researcher
  • Gasnault Olivier, CNRS Researcher
  • Granier Julien, PhD Student
  • Génot Vincent, CNAP Researcher
  • Haberle Veronika, PhD Student
  • Hou Chuanpeng, PhD Student
  • Jacquey Christian, CNAP Researcher
  • Jarry Manon, PhD Student
  • Jourdain Elisabeth, CNRS Researcher
  • Kieokaew Rungployphan, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Lasue Jérémie, CNAP Researcher
  • Lavraud Benoit, CNRS Researcher
  • Loche Mattéo, PhD Student
  • Lomazzi Paul, PhD Student
  • Louarn Philippe, CNRS Researcher
  • Marchaudon Aurélie, CNRS Researcher
  • Maurice Sylvestre, CNAP Researcher
  • Mazelle Christian, CNRS Researcher
  • Meslin Pierre-Yves, UPS Lecturer-Researcher
  • Nénon Quentin, CNRS Researcher
  • Pinet Patrick, CNRS Researcher
  • Pitout Frédéric, CNAP Researcher
  • Plotnikov Ilya, CNAP Researcher
  • Quitté Ghylaine, CNRS Researcher
  • Rabia Jonas, PhD Student
  • Ramos Sofien, PhD Student
  • Rapin William, CNRS Researcher
  • Rème Henri, Emeritus UPS Professor
  • Réville Victor, CNRS Researcher
  • Rojo Mathias, Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • Roques Jean-Pierre, CNRS Researcher
  • Rouillard Alexis, CNRS Researcher
  • Rouzot Julien, PhD Student
  • Sauvaud Jean-André, Emeritus CNRS Researcher
  • Thomas Simon, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Thomas Vincent, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Toplis Michael, CNRS Researcher
  • Toublanc Dominique, UPS Professor-Researcher


  • Aizawa Sae, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Amestoy Julien, Doctor (19 March 2021)
  • Chide Baptiste, Docteur (1 December 2020)
  • Dalmasse Kévin, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • David Gaël, Docteur (4 December 2020)
  • Eisenbeis Julian, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Fargette Naïs, Docteur (30 September 2022)
  • Fadanelli Sid, Docteur (13 October 2020)
  • Foucault Etienne, Docteur (19 June 2020)
  • Kotova Anna, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Kouloumvakos Athanasis, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Lenouvel Quentin, Docteur (19 November 2022)
  • Lavarra Mickaël, Docteur (15 December 2022)
  • Lotfi Amal, Docteur (8 December 2021)
  • Persson Moa, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Poirier Nicolas, Docteur (4 July 2022)
  • Tsareva Olga, Docteur (26 June 2020)
  • Wu Yihong, Post-Doctoral fellow

News of PEPS


Jupiter: a gigantic natural particle booster

The launch of JUICE is scheduled for April 13, 2023, with the most massive planet in the solar system as its target: Jupiter, and its magnetosphere. With its rapid rotation […]


IRAP at the heart of the lunar conquest

During the last fifty years, our natural satellite, the Moon, has been the target of human expeditions (Apollo missions) (1969-72) and robotic return of samples (Luna 16, 20, 24 (1970-1976), […]


Jupiter’s polar auroras

At each of its orbits, the Juno probe amazes us with its images of Jupiter’s polar auroras, but also with its measurements of particles, magnetic field and electromagnetic waves that […]


Juice: Latest preparations before launch!

IRAP organized from December 6 to 8, 2022 the Science Working Team meeting of the JUICE Mission for the European Space Agency. JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) is the first […]


Does the Martian moon Phobos reflect protons from the solar wind?

In the Solar System, the surfaces of celestial bodies without atmosphere are directly bombarded by the solar wind protons emitted by our star. Through poorly understood mechanisms, the surface of […]


Planet Mars: first geological surprises for the Perseverance rover in the Jezero crater

On February 21, 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars in the Jezero crater. In October (1), the rover confirmed the interest of its landing site: the Jezero crater was […]


Adoption of the Comet Interceptor space exploration mission

The Comet Interceptor space mission has just been adopted by the European Space Agency (ESA) to be the next mission to explore the Solar System. Developed in collaboration with the […]


SuperCam Scientists Honored by SAF

On May 21, 2022, Pernelle Bernardi (Observatoire de Paris – PSL) and Sylvestre Maurice (IRAP) are awarded, by the Astronomical Society of France, the International Astronautical Prize. “The International Astronautical […]


The ChemCam team awarded by the Explorers Club

The engineering team of the ChemCam instrument on the Mars rover Curiosity has received a Citation of Merit from the The Explorers Club academic society, which promotes scientific exploration and […]


Perseverance collects the first Martian sounds

Nasa’s Perseverance robot, which has been roaming the surface of Mars since February 2021, has recorded for the first time the “sound environment” of the Red Planet. An international team […]