Research page


They are small (small is beautiful), faint,  but extremely interesting.

My participation to the study of small bodies is from the involvment in space mission (Rosetta/ESA) and the measurement of reflectance spectra of analogs that are directly comparable to spacebourne observations. For that I use the spectro-photo-goniometer available in the lab (Brissaud et al. Applied Optics, 2004). This instruments enables to reproduce the geometry of obsevation, but also the P-T conditions of outer solar system surfaces (cold + vacuum). From the cometary angle I am interested in the mineralogy of cometary dusts, and the composition of the refractory organic compounds. From the asteroid angle, I am focused on hydrated minerals, and observations at 3-µm.


Small bodies

Mars is a cold planet but a hot topic. Indeed, the early Mars may have had some geological similarites with the comtemporaneous Earth properties. I am involved in Mars related research by collaborating on subsurface studies of the Martian permafrost with the Marsis radar (ESA). In addition, I have been working for some time now on the hydration of the Martian surface, the origin of the 3-µm band and the role of surface adsorption on Mars water cycle. Most of this research is being developped in collaboration with A. Pommerol (UniBerne).

Mars (sub-)surface «waters»

The architecture of the Solar System is the result of a global dynamical evolution involving sustantial radial transfer and mixing. Small Solar System bodies are remnants of the early stages of this evolution and are prime targets in the quest of pristine solar system materials. They provide a mean to climb back in time toward the eve of our stellar system, and obtain insights into the mechanics of planets formations and the heritage from the interstellar media. In that light they have become central to Solar System exploration. In Grenoble/FR, our approach is dual, first the characterization of pieces of small bodies that fall on Earth on a dayly basis= meteorites, and second the exploration of small bodies through space mission and spacebourne IR spectroscopy. This is a quick summary of my research, for more info, please take a look at my publications or contact me.

Extra-terrestrial materials

They fall on Earth everyday, and sometimes they are collected. Meteorites are very valuable materials to understand the composition of planets, the timescale of planetary formation, or the mechanics of impacts. My meteorite research is mostly focused on aqueous alteration proceses recorded in some of these samples. Through the PhD of Alexandere Garenne, we have characterized aqueous alteration in primitive carbonaceous chondrites, with IR,TGA and finally synhcroton based XANES-sepctroscopy.