Jean-Loup Puget has received the COSPAR Space Science Award
Jean-Loup Puget, Directeur de Recherche at CNRS, working at Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, has received the 2014 Space Science Award of COSPAR (Committee on Space Research). This Award honors a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to space science.
“Dr. Jean-Loup Puget has been the Principal Investigator since 1995 of the High Frequency Instrument (HFI) of the Planck Mission. He served as Deputy Director of the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris from 1978 to 1982. After a one-year position in the Space Science Department at the University of California, Berkeley, he joined the Physics Department of École Normale Supérieure and then in 1989 the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (Orsay), serving as Deputy Director from 1990 until 1998 when he became Director (1998-2006).
In 1971, in the framework of his PhD thesis work at the Goddard Space Flight Center, he worked on the prediction of gamma rays issued from the annihilation at the boundaries matter-antimatter with the first gamma ray satellite (SAS2). He got his PhD in 1973 (Paris University). This work was expanded with the first interpretation of the galactic gamma rays emission. He led the work which ended up with the first detection of the cosmic infrared background (CIB) in the COBE-FIRAS data. His work on dust emission led to the discovery of the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon molecules (PAHs).
He acted as Mission Scientist on the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) of ESA and on SPITZER of NASA. For about twenty years he has been the leader of HFI on Planck, with sub-Kelvin cooling of the detectors for the first time in space. Among the major cosmological results particularly noteworthy are: the high-precision determination of cosmological parameters, spatial flatness, no evidence for additional neutrino-like relativistic particles and an upper limit of 0.23 eV for the summed neutrino mass. He and his collaborators are also performing a careful analysis of the polarisation data taking great care of all observational and instrumental biases.
Dr. J.-L. Puget has authored more than 200 refereed scientific publications and has been a regular contributor at COSPAR Assemblies. He has been member and chairman of many national and international scientific committees for ESA, ESO, the French Academy, and he is now chairman of the Science Program Committee of the French space agency (CNES).
Given these accomplishments and more, Dr. Jean-Loup Puget is a most worthy recipient of the COSPAR Space Science Award.”
Photo: Copyright © CNES/Rachel Barranco, 2014