Post-Doc position H/F

Design and development of a new generation of planetary seismometers with extremely high performances based on the use of an interferometric readout.

Host lab/ Team : IPGP- Team « Planetology & Space Sciences » – UMR7154
Advisor: Lognonné Philippe (Pr),
Second : de Raucourt Sébastien, (IR),

Process engineering / Engineering
Saint Germain en Laye

Since the 90’s IPGP has developed a worldwide expertise in the development of ultrasensitive seismometers to study the internal structure of telluric planets (especially the Moon and Mars). IPGP and was responsible for the delivery of the long-period sensors (or VBB for Very Broad Band) of the SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure) experiment of the NASA Insight mission.



SEIS on Mars on Sol 66.


One the flight long period sensor in IPGP test facilities.

In parallel of the InSight technology optimisation, IPGP is willing to develop a new generation of seismometers targeting very high performances (self-noise of a few 10-12 m.s-2/sqrt(Hz )) to address the Moon seismology science objective.

Pioneers (Planetary Instruments based on Optical technologies for an iNnovative European Exploration using Rotational Seismology) is a project funded by the European Union in the frame of the H2020 program. Within this project, IPGP is responsible for the development of a translation seismic sensor, in partnership with iXblue (a French company specialized in optronics and Fiber Optics Gyroscopes), who will develop its optical readout. A seismometer with an optical displacement transducer operated in open loop would get rid of intrinsic limitation of classical VBBs whose noise sources are due to the feedback or electrostatic forces of their displacement transducers.


Our project objective is to develop such a seismometer from scratch up to a TRL 4/5 prototype and to demonstrate the performances potential of this technology. The postdoctoral research will focus on the sensor architecture trade-off, sensor modelling, performances budget and tests.

iXBlue is in charge of the optical part, i.e. the interferometric displacement sensor and IPGP is responsible for the mechanical oscillators and the whole sensor as a system.

The post-doc will be involved mainly in the global system study: specification flow down to the 2 mains components (optical readout and mechanical oscillator), architecture trades-off, sizing, performances budget and modelization, sensor integration, functional and performances tests.

The recruited person will work at IPGP, in the Planetary and Space Sciences lab located on the Paris Rive Gauche Campus of the Université de Paris (close to the French National Library, in the 13th district of Paris).

Frequent displacements at iXblue (St Germain en Laye) are foreseen. The candidate should have some experience in experimental physics and instrument engineering. Knowledge in interferometry/optical development and / or space instrumentation is a plus. The PIONEERS project fully funds this post-doc position.

It will also provide procurement and engineering support to build and test the prototype. This is 2 years, full-time position.

The salary level will be in accordance with the CNRS French pay grade system and will depend on previous work experience.
For application send a CV and a cover letter with references. For any further information or application,

please contact:
Sébastien de Raucourt
Telephone: +33 6 08 10 35 92
[1] – website of IPGP laboratory :
[2] – website of iXBlue
[3] –website of InSight/SEIS :
[4] – Lognonné, P., Banerdt, W.B., Giardini, D. et al. Space Sci Rev (2019) 215: 12.
[5] –

Initial proof of concept test for the optical readout at iXblue.



Required qualifications & skills
  • Eligible student for PHd position in France.
  • Engaged, Curious , Creative and Meticulous
  •  Two of these: Optic, Mechanic, Signal processing, General physics, Instrumentation