Detlef Koschny

Planetary Scientist


Main Research Fields

NOTE: As I will retire at the end of 2022, I will *not* be able to mentor/tutor/supervise any Research Fellows at ESA any more!

Anyway: My main scientific interest is cosmic dust, meteors, fireballs, and other minor bodies in the solar system, in particular asteroids. I am focussing on the analysis of observational data and the usage of optical cameras.

I am currently sharing my time between working as 'Instrument Coordinator' for the Close-Up Imager (CLUPI) on the ExoMars 2022 mission, and supporting the head of the Planetary Defence Office of ESA's Space Safety programme. In addition, I have a teaching position at the Lehrstuhl für Raumfahrttechnik of the Technical University Munich, teaching a course 'Near-Earth objects for engineers and physicists'. Which I will keep also after my retirement.

The following bullets focus on my research activities.


  • Instrument coordinator for the Close-Up Imager CLUPI for the ExoMars 2022 rover
  • Supporting the Head of the Planetary Defence Office
  • ground-based observations of meteors using image-intensified video systems
  • prepare for obtaining meteor observations from space
  • follow-up observations of asteroids and testing survey strategies
  • impact experiments in ice and regolith targets
  • testing cameras for ground- and space-based applications
  • Scientific instrument involvements: Co-I on CLUPI, Co-I on the scientific camera OSIRIS on Rosetta
  • Involved in ground-based fireball cameras, operating FRIPON and AllSky7 cameras

Ongoing collaborations

  • Data analysis of meteor and fireball data with Univ. Oldenburg, Germany
  • Near-Earth object research with the Lehrstuhl für Raumfahrttechnik, Technische Universität München
  • Part of the NELIOTA science team observing lunar impact flashes


Link to my publications in ADS.

Project/mission at ESA

These are missions I have been/am involved in (not only from a scientific point of view):

Missions in development: ExoMars 2022+

Missions which are/have been in operation: Rosetta, Smart-1, Venus Express, Chandrayaan-1 (ISRO), ExoMars 2016, BepiColombo

Before joining ESA, I was working on: Spacelab D2, Cassini-Huygens, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Polar Lander.

Mission studies: MoonNEXT, Marco Polo, MarcoPolo-R, Phootprint, Asteroid Impact Monitoring mission (AIM), Martian Moon Sample Return, Phobos Sample Return (several) - plus several internal studies done in our so-called Concurrent Design Facility.

For the work we do on meteors, see

For the technical web portal of our Planetary Defence Office, see