The Planck Science Office


The Planck Science Office (PSO), located at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre in Madrid (Spain) is responsible for:

  • during the pre-operational and operational periods (i.e. up to 20 October 2013), preparing for, managing and coordinating scientific operations of the Planck payload. As part of this task, PSO was responsible for planning the sky surveying strategy.
  • developing and operating (with the support of ESA's Science Archives Team) the system which archives and distributes Planck's final scientific products to the community.

Jan Tauber was ESA's Study Scientist for Planck (then COBRAS/SAMBA) since 1993, and became Planck Project Scientist when the mission was approved by ESA in 1995. He leads the Planck-related scientific activities at ESA. He led the initial development of PSO until June 2006, when a PSO Development Manager took this task over.


PSO was initially based at ESTEC in The Netherlands, and was transferred to ESAC in Spain in June 2006.


Damien Texier was the PSO Development Manager between 2006 and 2009, and became Planck's Mission Manager in 2009.


PSO reached its peak during Planck's operational period, i.e. between launch (on 14 May 2009) and decommissioning (on 20 October 2013). The members of the Planck Science Office during this period, and their function are listed below.

  • Mauro Casale, PSO Operations Manager (from 2008 until end 2012)
  • Richard Carr, Developer of the Survey Planning and Performance Tool (from 2003 until Feb 2013)
  • Xavier Dupac, Survey Scientist (from 2006) and Archive Scientist (from 2009)
  • Marco Freschi, Technical Support Engineer (from 2008 until end 2012)
  • Julio Gallegos, Quality and Product Assurance Support (from 2008)
  • Thomas Jagemann, HFI Support Scientist (from 2008 until August 2012)
  • Rodrigo Leonardi, Community Support Scientist (from 2009 until January 2015)
  • Luis Mendes, LFI Support Scientist (from 2005 until October 2014)
  • Rene Laureijs, Planck Deputy Project Scientist (between 2002 and 2009)
  • Dennis Taylor, Ground Segment System Engineer (from 2007 until March 2011)
  • Marcos López-Caniego, Archive Scientist and Community Support Scientist (from 2015)

Additional scientific associates at ESA (past and present) include:

  • Kevin Bennett (Research and Scientific Support Dpt, between 1998 and 2008)
  • Luca Conversi (Research Fellow between 2007 and 2009)
  • Xavier Dupac (Research Fellow between 2002 and 2004)
  • Pablo Fosalba (Research Fellow between 1999 and 2001)
  • Giovanna Giardino (Research and Scientific Support Dpt, from 1999)

Past collaborators of PSO are:

  • Guillermo Buenadicha, Ground Segment System Engineer (between 2007 and 2008)
  • Jorge Garcia Lazaro, programmer (between 2007 and 2009)
  • Johannes Gromke, LFI Support Scientist (between 2004 and 2005)
  • Mike McKinnell, Ground Segment System Engineer (between 2004 and 2007)
  • Ramon Nartallo, HFI Support Scientist (between 2004 and 2006)
  • Francesco Piacentini, HFI Support Scientist (between 2006 and 2008)
  • Rafael Prades, Ground Segment PA Support (between 2005 and 2007)

ESA's Research and Scientific Support Dpt participated in the development of the LFI and HFI Data Processing Centres, mainly contributing elements of the Integrated Data and Information System (IDIS). Several ESA contractors and staff participated in this effort:

  • Kevin Bennett (IDIS lead, LFI and HFI Co-Investigator, until 2008)
  • Julian Sternberg (IDIS Manager, until 2009)
  • Martin Bremer
  • Giovanna Giardino
  • Adam Hazell
  • Kevin Phipps
  • Rees Williams