European Space Agency names PLATO exoplanet hunting mission sensors in memory of Jean-Francois Bruyè


The European Space Agency (ESA) has officially designated the CCD sensors that comprise the focal plane arrays of the 26 telescopes being supplied for ESA’s PLATO exoplanet hunting mission, CCD Bruyères. ESA officially acknowledged this announcement in the technical specifications of the instruments of PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars). Jean-Francois Bruyères sadly passed away on June 3, 2018 and was instrumental in the development of the use of the CCD sensors for PLATO.

Jean-Francois, a highly respected colleague and well-known figure in the space industry, had overseen countless space imaging projects for Teledyne e2v. His contribution enabled many of the major space science discoveries of our time, from Gaia, Envisat, CoRoT, and the Sentinel satellites of the Copernicus Programme.

During its lifetime, PLATO will precisely measure the size, mass and age of planets around other stars, survey a large area of the sky, and study the full diversity of thousands of stars and planetary systems across our galactic neighbourhood, a fitting legacy to Bruyères, who dedicated his career to space imaging. To date, astronomers know of several thousand exoplanets orbiting distant stars. Many of them were discovered by the Kepler and CoRoT space missions, which were also equipped with Teledyne e2v’s CCD image sensors. PLATO is expected to discover many more exoplanets, which will then be further investigated and analysed by ground-based telescopes, generating a huge amount of follow up activity by the astronomy community.

Claudine Bruyères, wife of Jean-Francois, commented: “Jean-François always enjoyed the challenges presented by his job, and appreciated the friendship and support of his many colleagues and customers across the space community.”

Filippo Marliani, PLATO Project Manager at ESA, said: “All the thoughts of the PLATO Project go to Jean-Francois and his family. We all suffered his sudden departure, and we still miss his enthusiasm and dedication. All the successes of the PLATO mission will bear Jean-Francois imprint.”

Dave Morris, Chief Engineer at Teledyne e2v, said: “The sudden passing of Jean-François was a great shock and loss, both on a personal and professional level for all who knew him in our business. We are diminished without his daily dedication and inspiration in all that he touched.”

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