Laboratoire d’Études du Rayonnement et de la Matière en Astrophysique et Atmosphères

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Terahertz Instrumentation and Remote Sensing

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It includes research activities in three directions :
- Terahertz instrumentation for ground-based and space telescopes
- Earth remote sensing using multiple satellite observations
- data processing and virtual observations

The Instrument group at LERMA is a key international player in milllimeter to THz components and instrumentation, with active participation in space borne missions within international collaborations. Its main goal is to advance basic knowledge in THz devices, and to develop new technologies or circuit concepts in order to be able to propose some instruments as PI or as a key partner. This group has always worked at the frontier of electronics in terms of frequency and sensitivity. It is specialized in millimeter to THz heterodyne components and receivers, which provides unique insight in the physics and chemistry, in particular of the interstellar medium and the atmosphere of planets, including the Earth.

The Software Instrumental activity of this pole focuses on the modeling of the instrumentation, the processing of the data, and the development of Virtual Observation strategies. The data come both from instruments (e.g., ALMA, NOEMA, Planck, SKA) and from numerical simulations. The activity includes all the aspects and problems related to data consolidation, data storage and perpetuation, data diffusion and sharing.

The Earth and Planet Remote Sensing component revolves around the microwave to millimeter wave radiometry from satellites, for the characterization of the Earth atmosphere and surface. Different aspects are covered, including the analysis of satellite observations, the modeling of the radiative transfer, and the development of inversion methods. It is based on collaboration with the instrument group and projects couple science and instrument studies. The group works on both atmospheric and surface analysis, using microwave observations but also exploring the synergies between visible, infrared and microwave observations. We produce geophysical variables (e.g., soil moisture, inundation extent, emissivity) over long time series at a global scale, or for use by the climate and meteorological communities. We are also involved in the analysis of satellite observations of planet, using similar methodologies.

Séminaires à venir

Vendredi 16 novembre 2018, 14h00
Salle de l'atelier, Paris
Quantum walks and astrophysical plasmas
résumé :
Quantum walks (QWs) have been first considered by Feynman in the 1940's and later introduced systematically in the 1990's in the context of quantum information. These discrete automata are a universal quantum computation tool and their first experimental realisation is less than 10 years old (2009).

I will present some of the research conducted at the LERMA since 2012. I will explain that QWs can be viewed as models of Dirac fermions (electrons etc.) interacting with gauge fields like EM fields and gravitation and that QWs can be used to build self-consistent many body theories. These results pave the way towards new numerical simulations and laboratory experiments modelling astrophysical and cosmological relativistic quantum plasmas through QWs.
Vendredi 30 novembre 2018, 14h00
Salle de l'atelier, Paris
Multiscale star-formation in the Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud: from molecular clouds to brown-dwarfs formation
résumé :
From molecular clouds to stars, every step of the evolution of young stars can be observed in the submillimetric range. The Herschel Space Telescope observed, as part of the Herschel Gould Belt Survey, many molecular clouds. When these molecular clouds are fragmenting, dense prestellar cores accumulating dust and gas are forming and contracting. We performed a census of prestellar dense cores in the Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud, which appear to be coupled with filamentary structures, as part of the paradigm of star-formation inside interstellar filaments. The region was not previously known as filamentary, despite the observation of protostellar alignments. This molecular cloud is under the heavy feedback of active stars nearby seen in the structure of the molecular cloud. Oph B-11, detected with interferometric observations, is a brown dwarf precursor, which final mass will not be important enough for the final star to burn hydrogen. Their formation mechanism is not well constrained, we must find and characterize a first candidate pre-brown dwarf. Oph B-11 was detected along a nearby shock, we characterize chemically. Moreover, higher resolution studies with ALMA show a structured molecular environment and help us constrain the mechanism of formation of this kind of objects. These observations show a series of shocks in different tracers, spatially coincident with the detected position of the pre-brown dwarf, in favour of the gravo- turbulent scenario for the formation of brown dwarfs. I will discuss the legacy of Herschel in the Ophiuchus region in the filament paradigm of star-formation, and the future of these studies with the advent of new instruments, like NIKA2 and its polarimetry facility.
Vendredi 21 décembre 2018, 14h00
Salle de l'atelier, Paris
Astrochemistry in star forming regions : new modeling approaches
Emeric BRON
résumé :
Star-forming regions present rich infrared and millimeter spectra emitted by the gas exposed to the feedback of young stars. This emission is increasingly used to study the star formation cycle in other galaxies, but results from a complex interplay of physical and chemical processes : chemistry in the gas and on grain surfaces, (de)excitation processes of the atoms and molecules, heating and cooling balance,... Its understanding thus requires detailed astrochemical models that include the couplings between these processes. In this talk, I will present several examples where new modeling approaches of specific processes and their couplings proved crucial to solve persistent observational riddles : from the driving role of UV irradiation in the dynamics of photodissociation regions (PDR) to the efficient reformation of molecular hydrogen in these regions.
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