Detlef Koschny

Planetary Scientist


Main Research Fields

NOTE: I have retired from ESA at the end of 2022, I do not mentor/tutor/supervise any Research Fellows via ESA anymore - but now from my affiliation with the TU Munich, Germany.

Anyway: My main scientific interests are 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 currently spend part of my time as Technical Manager for the Close-Up Imager (CLUPI) on the ExoMars 2028 mission. I have a lecturer position at the Professorship for Lunar and Planetary Exploration of the Technical University Munich, teaching a course 'Near-Earth objects for engineers and physicists'.

The following bullets focus on my research activities.


  • Technical Manager for the Close-Up Imager CLUPI for the ExoMars 2028 rover (via an affiliation with the Space Exploration Institute, Neuchatel, Switzerland).
  • Chairing the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group ( on behalf of ESA.
  • 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
  • Part of the science team for the ESA/ASI mission LUMIO, to observe impact flashes on the Moon


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 2028; LUMIO (lunar impact flash observer)

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.

My pages at the TU Munich:

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