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, 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

  • Aizawa Sae, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Amestoy Julien, PhD Student
  • André Nicolas, CNRS Researcher
  • Berger Gilles, CNRS Researcher
  • Berthomé Erwan, PhD Student
  • Blanc Michel, Emeritus CNAP Researcher
  • Blelly Pierre-Louis, CNRS Researcher
  • Chevrel Serge, CNAP Researcher
  • Chide Baptiste, Doctor (1 December 2020)
  • Cousin Agnès, CNAP Researcher
  • Dahani Souhail, PhD Student
  • Dalmasse Kévin, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Dandouras Iannis, CNRS Researcher
  • David Gaël, Doctor (4 December 2020)
  • Eisenbeis Julian, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Fargette Naïs, PhD Student
  • 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
  • Génot Vincent, CNAP Researcher
  • Haberle Veronika, PhD Student
  • Jacquey Christian, CNAP Researcher
  • Jarry Manon, PhD Student
  • Jourdain Elisabeth, CNRS Researcher
  • Kieokaew Rungployphan, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Kouloumvakos Athanasis, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Lasue Jérémie, CNAP Researcher
  • Lavarra Mickaël, PhD Student
  • Lavraud Benoit, CNRS Researcher
  • Lenouvel Quentin, PhD Student
  • Loche Mattéo, PhD Student
  • Louarn Philippe, CNRS Researcher
  • Loutfi Amal, PhD Student
  • Marchaudon Aurélie, CNRS Researcher
  • Maurice Sylvestre, CNAP Researcher
  • Mazelle Christian, CNRS Researcher
  • Meslin Pierre-Yves, UPS Lecturer-Researcher
  • Nénon Quentin, CNRS Researcher
  • Persson Moa, Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Pinet Patrick, CNRS Researcher
  • Pitout Frédéric, CNAP Researcher
  • Plotnikov Ilya, CNAP Researcher
  • Poirier Nicolas, PhD Student
  • Quitté Ghylaine, CNRS Researcher
  • Rapin William, CNRS Researcher
  • Rème Henri, Emeritus UPS Professor
  • Réville Victor, Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • Roques Jean-Pierre, CNRS Researcher
  • Rouillard Alexis, CNRS Researcher
  • 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

News of PEPS


Overview of the future Venusian mission EnVision

In about ten years, the European mission EnVision will set course for Venus to allow us to have, for the first time, a global vision of the planet. Indeed, we […]


ESA gives green light to EnVision mission

It’s official. On June 9, 2021, the ESA program committee has selected the EnVision mission, inaugurating after NASA’s announcement on June 2, nearly two decades of joint exploration of our […]


Solar Orbiter: Rich in situ data collection

Launched a little over a year ago (February 10, 2020), the Solar Orbiter probe continues its journey towards the Sun, carrying on board a dozen instruments! It is currently at […]


Mars 2020 mission: the French Supercam instrument records the sound of the 4th Ingenuity flight!

On May 1, 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover’s French-American instrument, SuperCam, recorded the sounds of the Ingenuity helicopter for the first time on Mars during its 4th flight over Jezero Crater. […]


Mars didn’t dry up in one go

The Perseverance rover has just landed on Mars. Meanwhile, its precursor Curiosity continues to explore the base of Mount Sharp (officially Aeolis Mons), a mountain several kilometres high at the […]


Two young IRAP researchers participate in a Space Weather Forecast Competition with Machine Learning

In recent years the field of artificial intelligence (AI) has expanded and is applied to a vast variety of applications, holding favourable opportunities for the scientific community. Especially, machine learning […]


Mars 2020 mission: Perseverance rover lands successfully carrying French Supercam instrument

Thursday 18 February, the Perseverance rover, carrying a suite of seven instruments including the French SuperCam, a greatly enhanced version of the ChemCam instrument already operating on NASA’s Curiosity Mars […]


A reference compound to calibrate the analyzer of the Mars rover Perseverance

How do you calibrate a device once on Mars? On board the “Perseverance” rover, the SuperCam module will have a series of reference samples to improve the accuracy of mineralogical […]


PEP consortium delivers flight models of the first four particle detectors of the JUICE probe to Jupiter

After 8 years of development, the PEP consortium, which includes IRAP (CNRS, Université Paul Sabatier de Toulouse and CNES) (1), has just delivered to Airbus the flight models of the […]


Uncovering the hidden side of storms – France’s Taranis satellite to launch in november

Sprites, elves, jets… few people know that scientists habitually use such other-worldly words to describe transient luminous events or TLEs, light flashes that occur during active storms just a few […]