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Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales

LATMOS is an associated research laboratory, created on January 1st, 2009, whose supervisory authorities are Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique , Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines and Université Pierre et Marie Curie . It results from the merger of Service d'Aéronomie and more than half of Centre d'étude des Environnements Terrestre et Planétaires and gathers activities developed by those two laboratories. More than 250 persons work at LATMOS, including about 150 researchers, engineers, technicians and administrative staff and about 100 Ph. D students, postdocs and visitors.LATMOS is part of Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers of UVSQ.

Research themes

The research objectives of LATMOS fall into three main themes :

  • Study of terrestrial atmosphere physicochemical processes (from the low atmosphere up to the stratosphere and the mesosphere) and of processes between the atmosphere and the Earth's surface (ocean/continents)
  • Study of planets and of solar system (atmosphere, surfaces, sub-surfaces)
  • Physics of heliosphere, of planets exosphere and of solar system plasmas

Main International projects

As part of IPSL, LATMOS main themes of research are the study of Earth's environment and planetology through essentially experimental approaches.

The main instrumental and experimental projects of LATMOS fall into three broad categories :

  • observation and study of atmosphere and surfaces from the ground, balloons or aircrafts (microwave instruments, optics, turbulence measurements, air composition measures by chemical ionization mass spectrometric). This results in more instrumental developments and in organization and participation to cooperative measure campaigns (recent examples : AMMA and POLARCAT campaigns).
  • development of sensors for space missions in earth observation and planetology
     - PICARD mission : measure of sun's diameter and irradiance
     - Exomars mission: exploration of Mars, soil penetration radars (EISS WISDOM), measurement of the electric field ARES, gas chromatography MOMA, optical thickness measurement of Mars atmosphere (ODS)
     - Gas chromatography to study the chemical composition (SAM instrument for Mars Science Laboratory missions and PHOBUS-GRUNT)
     - BEPI_COLOMBO mission (exploration of Venus) : Mass Spectrometer flight time and optical UV spectrometer
    - Electrical and antenna analyzer board for TARANIS mission (study of intermittent electrical phenomena in the Earth's environment)
  • Preparation and validation of space missions (algorithmics, data analysis), such as
     - SPICAM / Mars-Express and SPICAV / Venus-Express : study of Mars and Venus atmospheres, respectively
     - SOLSPEC and PICARD : study of some sun properties
     - ROSETTA : study of a comet
     - GOMOS : properties of Earth's upper atmosphere with ENVISAT
     - IASI : atmosphere chemical composition from METOP satellite observations
     - CALIPSO and CLOUDSAT : study of non-precipitating clouds and their radiative impact, study of aerosols
     - SMOS : study of the surface soil moisture and ocean surface salinity by microwave radiometry
     - CFOSAT study of ocean surface wind and waves by radar observation



 The activities of LATMOS teams fit in large national or international programs dedicated to studying Earth's surface and atmosphere, ionsphere and magnetosphere as well as the exploration of the Solar System. These activities give rise to close collaborations with many other French and foreign laboratories ( CNRM , CESBIO , LAMP , LOA, CESR , LPC2E ...) as well as organisms such as Météo France , l' IFREMER , NOAA and space agencies like CNES , ESA , NASA and NASDA


Tools / Instrumental developments

  • development of original experimental approaches, mainly based on radio techniques : measures of electrical and magnetic fields in plasmas, atmosphere, surfaces and subsoil active (radars) and passive (microwave radiometers) remote sensing observations, idars, spectrophotometry, mass-spectrometry...
  • development in modeling the interactions between electromagnetic waves and studied environments.
  • development of observations statistical analysis methods
  • research network on the ground ( NDACC international network studying atmosphere's chemical composition changes) with Observatoire de Haute-Provence , Dumont d'Urville and Ile de la Réunion ).
  • observations linked to embarked instruments (balloons, aircrafts, spatial sondes)
  • numerical simulation (process in plasmas).

Management team

Director : Philippe Keckhut (philippe.keckhut @ latmos.ipsl.fr)

Deputy directors :

Valérie Ciarletti (valerie.ciarletti @ latmos.ipsl.fr),

Eric Quémerais (eric.quemerais @ latmos.ipsl.fr)

François Ravetta (francois.ravetta @ latmos.ipsl.fr)


LATMOS in Guyancourt LATMOS in Paris

Quartier des Garennes

11 boulevard d'Alembert

78280 Guyancourt

Tel : +33 (0)1 80 28 50 28

Université Pierre et Marie Curie

4 place jussieu

Tour 45-46, 3e et 4e étages

Case 102

75231 Paris cedex 05


Tel : +33 (0)1 44 27 47 60

Fax : +33 (0)1 44 27 37 76

Access to LATMOS web site

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