Space Research & Planetary Sciences Division Web Site

Planetary Imaging Group Web Site

Antoine Pommerol

firstname (dot) lastname (at)     +41 31 631 3998

Space and Planetary Science Division                                                                

Physikalisches Institut                                                                              

University of Bern                                                                                       

Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland                                                       


Date of birth: 19.10.1982

Citizenship: French



Optical remote-sensing of planetary surfaces. Special emphasis on the surface of Mars and the occurrence and activity of water in the Solar System. Analysis of datasets collected by cameras, spectrometers, laser altimeters and radars. Spectro-photometric characterization of analogue samples in the laboratory. Experimental simulation of planetary surface processes. Development and construction of laboratory instrumentation and simulation chambers. Development and calibration of instruments for future planetary missions.



2005-2009          PhD Thesis: “Mineral hydration on the Martian Surface: spectroscopic and thermodynamic characterizations and application to remote sensing”, University Joseph Fourier / Grenoble I. Supervisor: Bernard Schmitt.

2004-2005       Master of Science: “Physics and Chemistry of the Earth and Planets”, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon.

2002-2004          Bachelor of Science: Earth Sciences: Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon.



2009-present        Postdoc, University of Bern. Supervisor: Nicolas Thomas

                             Project: Remote sensing of Solar System icy surfaces. Main research activities:

·    Development of the “Planetary Ice laboratory” to develop and characterize analogues for planetary and cometary surface material.

·    Remote-sensing of Solar System surfaces by visible imaging, near-infrared hyperspectral imaging, laser altimetry and ground-penetrating radar.

·    Participation (Co-Investigator) to the development, testing and calibration of the CaSSIS camera for ESA’s TGO mission to Mars.

2009                     Postdoc, University of Grenoble. Supervisor: Wlodek Kaufman

                             Project: Exploration of the Lunar subsurface with the LRS/Selene radar, in collaboration with the LRS Team at University of Sendai, Japan.

2005-2009            PhD Thesis, University of Grenoble. Supervisor: Bernard Schmitt

                             Project: Study of mineral hydration on the Martian surface.

·    Influence of surface texture and measurement geometry on the infrared spectral signatures of hydrated minerals.

·    Discrimination of these effects on the Martian surface using OMEGA/Mex and CRISM/MRO datasets.

·    Design and conception of an environmental chamber to simulate Martian surface extreme conditions.

·    Experimental determination of water adsorption and diffusion properties of Mars soil analogs.

2004                     Internship at Lunar and Planetary Science Institut, Houston. Supervisors: Essam Heggy and Steve Clifford

                             Project: Modeling of the dielectric properties of the Martian surface and study of the implications for radar studies.

2003                     Internship at University of Grenoble. Supervisors: Donia Baklouti and Eric Quirico

                             Project: Spectroscopy of sulfur trioxyde and implications for the surface of Io.



Author/co-author of about 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. About 300 citations. h-Index: 11. Reviewer for Icarus, JGR-Planets, Planetetary and Space Science, Science.

Up-to date list of publication:



Teaching assistant in Earth Sciences (University of Grenoble) and Physics (University of Bern).

Geology and Physics labs and field trips.

Lectures about Mars.

Co-supervision of Bachelor, Master and PhD theses.

Frequent public outreach.




·    Programming with IDL and Python languages

·    Development of instrument control and data acquisition systems

·    Remote sensing software: ENVI

·    Geographic Information System: ESRI ArcGIS, QGIS, Google Earth

·    Common OS and productivity software


·    French: native

·    English: fluent

·    German: proficient

Planetary Imaging Group Web Site

Space Research & Planetary Sciences Division Web Site