European Space Agency
Frédéric Safa is Head of ESA's Advanced Studies and Technology Preparation Division at ESTEC. Prior to taking up this position in October 2007, Frédéric was closely involved with Gaia as a member of the EADS Astrium team in Toulouse. In his role as Science and Missions Performance Expert he was, since 2006, the Astrium interface with the Gaia Science Team.
Frédéric has been deeply involved in many aspects of the design of the Gaia spacecraft and payload, and has introduced several innovative aspects. In 2002, in the early design phase, he proposed to superimpose the two astrometric focal planes using a small beam combiner located in the image space for simplifying the payload manufacturing and enabling a Soyuz Fregat launch. He was also the originator of other innovations such as the silicon carbide dual telescope concept using a common toroidal structure, and the basic-angle monitoring concept in orbit.
From 2002 to 2007, Frédéric led the EADS Astrium Instrument Advanced Studies Department where Gaia payload studies are conducted. He led the Gaia payload design in EADS Astrium until 2004 and subsequently initiated and promoted the evolutions of the EADS Astrium design in 2004-2005.
[Published: 21/02/2006| Updated: 01/10/2007]
Gaia people archive