Institut national de recherche scientifique français Univerité Pierre et Marie Curie Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7

LESIA profile

Thursday 4 January 2024

The LESIA is the coordinator laboratory of CENSUS

Who are we ?

The LESIA (Laboratory of Space Studies and Instrumentation in Astrophysics) is one of the five Scientific Departments of the Paris Observatory. It is also a CNRS Laboratory (mixed Research Unit of CNRS – UMR 8109).

LESIA is associated with

  • Observatoire de Paris-PSL (home institution) ;
  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) ;
  • Sorbonne University ;
  • UniversitĂ© Paris CitĂ©.

LESIA is one of the largest French laboratories of research in astrophysics (approximately 12% of the discipline). In June 2023, the laboratory counted 208 staff including 125 permanent.

The permanent staff is composed of:
– 67 Researchers/Scientists of CNRS, the CNAP or members of Universities;
– 58 Engineers/Technicians/Administrators of CNRS or members of Universities.

Main Objectives and Research themes

LESIA’s primary role:

  • The design and implementation of scientific instrumentation in space and on the ground;
  • Analysis and interpretation of scientific observations made by use of the produced instruments;
  • Development of advanced techniques applied in ground-based instruments and in space instruments.

LESIA is at the forefront of scientific advances in all areas where it is involved thanks to: the scientific results obtained from the instrumentation that was designed and produced within the laboratory, in the different research areas of the centre; the use of large national and international funding; the developed simulations and theoretical work.

LESIA’s scientific activities are classified in four main themes (Star, High Angular Resolution and Astrophysics, Heliosphere and Astrophysical Plasmas, Planetology), where it also focuses on fifteen major astrophysical topics, as well as on twelve technical areas.

LESIA is the coordinating laboratory of CENSUS (CEntre pour les Nanosatellites en Sciences de l’UniverS), the space cluster of the PSL Research University.

The laboratory is also heavily involved in many aspects of technics and technologies of information, for the development of instrumental methods and for data analysis.

Finally, LESIA has many assignments within the astrophysics community (service tasks for the community, institutional responsibilities, teaching) and is largely involved in missions for the spread of scientific culture.