Bruno Maffei
Experimental Cosmologist and Astrophysicist

Professor of Physics and Astrophysics
at Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale and Université Paris-Saclay

About Me


I have worked in the field of Radio to Sub-millimetre wave astronomical instrumentation since 1990, when I started my PhD at the IAS-Orsay, France. After a short stay at CalTech and IPAC in Pasadena, I have then worked for 21 years in the UK (QMUL, Cardiff University and The University of Manchester / Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics), contributing to the development of several astronomical instruments.
Since 2016, I am working on several R&D programmes on cryogenics, optics and detector testing, leading an instrumentation group within the Cosmology team at the IAS to support developments for CMB and far-infrared Astronomy. 

Research Projects

In parallel to Research and Development programmes, I am contributing to several astronomical instruments, mostly dedicated to the study of the Cosmic Microwave Background, either operated from the ground, or from balloon and space platforms. I have notably played a major role for the High Frequency Instrument (HFI) on the Planck space mission, for which I have coordinated the optics group and designed / developed many of the HFI focal plane cold optics components.

Present projects

PILOT Balloon borne instrument


Athena X-IFU

(X-ray Integral Field Unit)



(Balloon Interferometer for Spectral Observations of the primordial Universe)


( Baryon acoustic oscillations in Integrated Neutral Gas Observations)

Telescope and horn design


(Q&U Bolometric Interferometer for Cosmology)

Optics and Horn design

Past projects


(Q-U-I JOint TEnerife)

Telescope and Horn design


Bolometric camera for the APEX telescope


Design, develoment and tests of HFI focal plane; Coordinator of HFI optics group


(Five hundred metre Aperture Spherical Telescope)

Optics and L-Band receiver

Archeops balloon borne CMB project

Focal plane development


Lists can be found at   NASA ADS   Google Scholar

Past and Present PhD supervisions

At The University of Manchester

Dr Fahri Ozturk
Modelling and Experimental Study of Millimetre Wave Refractive Systems (2014)
Dr Peter Schemmel
Generation of Millimetre-Wavelength Orbital Angular Momentum (2015)
Dr Ho Ting Fung
A study of instrumental systematic effects due to quasi-optical components on CMB polarisation experiments (2015)
Dr Matthew Robinson
Development of planar technology for focal planes of future radio to sub-millimetre astronomical instruments (2017)
Dr Stephen Legg
Multi-mode Receiver Systems for Cosmic Microwave Background B-mode Polarisation Experiments (2018)

At Paris-Saclay university

Dr Samantha Stever
Characterisation and modelling of the interaction between sub-Kelvin bolometric detectors and cosmic rays (2019)
Dr Valentin Sauvage
Development of a Closed Cycle Dilution Refrigerator for future cosmological missions (2023)
Mr Xavier Coulon
Spectrometry of the sky: towards CMB spectral distortions measurements.
Mrs Apolline Chappard
Instrument concept studies for spectrometry of the sky across a broad range of frequencies
Mrs Anais Besnard
Sub-K cryogenic developments for future CMB projects


I have been teaching in French and in English, from 1st year undergraduate to postgraduate levels, at several universities in the UK and now in France.

Present teaching at Université Paris-Saclay

Master (M1 P&A)
Master 1st year
Traitement du Signal
Signal processing
Master ( M2 OSAE - Outils et Systèmes de l'Astronomie et de l'Espace)
Master 2nd year
Co-responsable formation


English for Engineers


Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale
Bat 121, Université Paris-Saclay
91405 Orsay Cedex
Phone Number:
+33 (0)1 69 85 85 67
Email address: