Our experts

Christine Fallet

CNES, France

Christine Fallet is the CARIOQA-PMP project coordinator. She brings extensive expertise in spatial systems and project development.

Christine has been working for CNES since 1992,  where she was able to work in various space domains. She started her career as a Satellite Engineer at the TELECOM Satellite Control Center, participating in in-orbit satellite control, station-keeping operations, and orbit and manoeuvre calculations. Later, Christine was in charge of developing the mission mode of the Attitude and Orbit Control sub-system (AOCS) of the DEMETER satellite and for the follow-up of the development of the AOCS and the system of the geostationary satellite STENTOR. During her 10-year experience as an AOSC architect, Christine was able to manage various satellites and missions. Since 2014, Christine has been a space system expert in charge of the coordination of preliminary projects for different applications (Earth observation, IoT, …). In this function, she leads and carries out pre-project studies in collaboration with the thematic experts, the end users of the mission and the technical experts. She carried out the Phase 0 studies for GRICE and CARIOQA.

Karin Kiewisch

DLR, Germany

Karin is CARIOQA-PMP’s Programmatic Coordinator. She enjoys working at the interface of science, policy and international cooperation at the German Space Agency.

Karin has been working for DLR for 10 years, coordinating and funding research on behalf of the German government: During the first 5 years she has been fostering European and international research cooperation through bilateral funding schemes and European Coordination and Support Actions such as ERA-NETs.

In 2018, she was transferred to the German Space Agency in order to support physics and materials science research under microgravity conditions and technology development for space applications. As a trained quantum chemist, Karin has a special liking for quantum technology projects. She is in charge of the agency’s QT flagships projects BECCAL and MAIUS and coordinates the Quantum Technology activities at the German Space Agency.

In CARIOQA-PMP, Karin combines her expertise in EU cooperation projects, roadmap development, stakeholder management and space quantum technology: As Programmatic Coordinator, she leads the task for the development of the technical and programmatic roadmap and its validation by European scientists and policy-makers. She supports the organisation of the Scientific and Technology Advisory Board and the project’s dissemination activities.

Naceur Gaaloul

Leibniz University Hannover, Germany

Naceur is the head of the “Theory of Quantum Sensing” group at the Institute of Quantum Optics supported by the DFG’s Excellence Cluster QuantumFrontiers. He is pushing the quantum engineering of ultracold gases to realize precision measurements for fundamental physics and inertial sensing applications.

Naceur has been working for the Leibniz University for 15 years supporting the QUANTUS project (DLR) which pioneered the deployment of Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) in microgravity. Later, he delivered theory support to several space projects such as the MAIUS (DLR) sounding rocket mission putting the first BEC in space in 2017 and is active at the core team of ESA’s STE-QUEST proposal for an M-mission (phase 0 and A). Presently, he is coordinating a number of national, European and international activities (NASA’s ISS Cold Atom Lab) and projects aiming to strengthen the presence of quantum sensors in the space environment by unlocking their quantum advantage. Naceur enjoys working in large collaborations and promotes the maturity of the quantum physics community to pursue challenging quests such as probing the interface between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics or detecting gravitational waves with atom interferometers.

In CARIOQA-PMP, Naceur is helping extend the realm of quantum sensing to Earth Observation. His team is involved in the precise design and simulations of quantum protocols to realize the pathfinder mission objectives at the atomic level. Moreover, he actively supports the scenario building of a geodesy mission that would put a quantum sensor in orbit together with a multidisciplinary circle of experts in Earth sciences and space physics.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/naceur-gaaloul-ab924b30

Federica Migliaccio

Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Federica Migliaccio is full professor of geodesy and geomatics at Politecnico di Milano, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her main research field is satellite geodesy, with particular interest in satellite gravimetry.

Federica participated in the study and data analysis of the ESA GOCE mission for the recovery of the Earth gravity field by the “space-wise” approach. In recent years her research regarded satellite gravimetry studies based on quantum sensors, for the determination of models of the Earth gravity field. Such studies were pursued in projects funded by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), proposing different mission concepts: MOCASS (quantum satellite gradiometry) and MOCAST+ (quantum interferometric sensors combined with atomic clock data). At the moment she is involved in the ESA project QSG4EMT (Quantum Space Gravimetry for monitoring Earth’s Mass Transport processes) for the analysis of QSG mission architectures that can optimally recover the time variable part of the gravity field of the Earth related to mass transport processes and in the Horizon Europe project CARIOQA-PMP (Cold Atom Rubidium Interferometer in Orbit for Quantum Accelerometry – Pathfinder Mission Preparation) for the preparation of a European Quantum Pathfinder Mission.

In the CARIOQA-PMP project Federica Migliaccio is team leader of the Politecnico di Milano team. She brings in her expertise in the development of the CARIOQA-PMP tools for the definition of optimal mission scenarios through validation by simulations. She also contributes to the definition of the scientific users needs, particularly for applications based on the monitoring of mass and mass transport in the Earth system.


Pierre-Alain Gominet

Airbus Defence and Space, France

Pierre-Alain is working at Airbus Defence & Space as an Optical Engineer. He is the AIT (Assembly, Integration and Test) manager of the EM Instrument developed in the frame of CARIOQA PMP project.

Pierre-Alain is in space Industry for almost 10 years and since 2016 for Airbus Defence & Space, in the Earth & Universe observation AIT department where optical instruments are assembled, integrated and tested before their launch. He worked on IASI-NG project during more than 5 years, especially on the cryostat (IASI-NG focal plane) and the two telescopes integration; from the alignment to the performance tests realization, including the conception of dedicated equipments (OGSE) which are used to align and tests those instruments.

He was also involved on others Earth Observation projects (national projects and Copernicus Program) with various kind of instruments (telescope, radiometer, spectrometer, LIDAR) operating in a large optical spectrum, from UV to far Infrared wavelengths.

Furthermore, Pierre-Alain is quite familiar with quantum accelerometer technologies, since he did his PhD at Laboratoire Photonique, Numérique et Nanosciences (LP2N) in Bordeaux on an airborne cold atom interferometer about ten years ago. The goal was to developed a double accelerometer functioning with two different atoms (Rubidium and Potassium), and to operate it in the 0g plane from Novespace, in order to prepare the future space missions.

In the frame of CARIOQA-PMP, he is the EM instrument AIT Manager. In this context, his role is to prepare the AIT phase and ensure its smooth running.
He is coordinating the up-front activities with the industrial partners until the subsystem’s deliveries and the instrument integration. Then he will ensure the link between the AIT team and the scientific partners for the BEC and interferometer realization until the performance tests completion. He also participates to those AIT activities, and he is currently working with the instrument system team in order to prepare CARIOQA Phase A.

LinkedIn: https://fr.linkedin.com/in/pierre-alain-gominet-11566aa6

Katharina Lechner

Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany

Katharina  has a master’s degree in geodesy and geoinformation with specialization in physical and satellite geodesy at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). She is working as a research Assistant/PhD student since April 2023 at TUM under the supervision of Professor Pail.

In the frame of CARIOQA-PMP, Katharina works on the simulation of the satellite mission concerning the gravity field recovery. She also operates on the simulation of post-CARIOQA satellite missions with at near view on user needs, science and societal impacts. In addition, Katharina investigates on the link between users (hydrology, cryosphere…) and geodesy (gravity field).

Thomas Lévèque

CNES, France

Thomas Lévèque is the CARIOQA-PMP’s Technical Coordinator. He brings its expertise in Quantum Sensors design, acting at the interface between academy and industry.

Thomas has been working for CNES for 14 years coordinating several space R&D activities related to laser system and quantum sensor development for scientific and metrological applications. Until 2015, he was in charge of the optical design, performances and tests of the PHARAO space clock. In 2019, he initiated the CARIOQA Phase 0 in order to foster the strong potential offered by quantum accelerometers for space applications through a Pathfinder Mission. This innovative approach, centered on quantum technology development, triggered the interest of several European partners and paved the way to CARIOQA-PMP. Thomas enjoys working at the interface between academy and industry, fostering technology maturation and quantum sensors applications. As Technical Coordinator of the CARIOQA-PMP project, Thomas is in charge of the definition, test and performance assessment of the quantum sensor Engineering Model of the project. In this context, Thomas brings its background in laser optics and cold atom technologies to ensure the adequacy between the instrument definition and the needs of the CARIOQA space mission.

Maike Lachmann

Airbus Defence and Space, Germany

Maike is working for Airbus Defence & Space in the optical instruments department. She is the system engineer for the CARIOQA-PMP Physics Package in which the atom interferometric measurements are performed.

Maike is working on quantum technology studies for space applications at Airbus Defence & Space. She covers projects in the field of quantum sensing and quantum communication. She gathered her experience in the field of quantum sensing during her PhD at the university of Hannover working on the sounding rocket mission MAIUS-1 that created BECs and demonstrated atom interferometry in Space for the first time. She operated the instrument, performed optimization of the experimental sequences and evaluated the results. During a 1.5 years long PostDoc phase, she participated in different projects for applications on free-fall simulators.

In the frame of CARIOQA-PMP, Maike is the systems engineer for the Physics Package. This central module contains the ultra-high vacuum system in which the atom optical measurements are conducted as well as optical and electro-mechanical components around. Her team will design and assemble the Physics Package. Afterwards they will operate this module in the laboratory using ground support equipment at the Airbus site in Ottobrunn.

David Bisconti

Leonardo, Italy

David has been working in Space Business Unit at Leonardo as RF System Engineer since 2011. He is Project Engineering Manager of EM Microwave Source, the Master Clock of the whole gravimeter instrument developed for CARIOQA-PMP project.

David started his academic studies at the University of Palermo where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering, followed by a Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering specialising in High Frequency Circuits at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. He has been working as RF System Engineer at Leonardo S.p.A since 2011. He was in charge, as Project Leader, of the design and the development of Traveling Wave Tube (TWT) amplifiers and RF hybrids for Airborne applications. He has been speaker in workshops on Traveling Wave Tube amplifiers organized by the University of Palermo and he has been Lecturer at European Microwave Week workshops. He has a deep knowledge of the state of the art on the use of Materials and technologies in TWT and microwave hybrids manufacturing. He has been co-author of some papers in the Microwave field published in International conferences. He spent the last five years as RF System Engineer in the development of RF chains for complex systems, in particular in the definition of the Transmitter and Receiver architectures for the space applications. He is currently Project Engineering Manager for ongoing projects and technical support for bid proposal of new projects in the space field.

In the frame of CARIOQA-PMP, David manages all the stages of development of the EM Microwave Source, from the technical proposal up to the design and implementation of design choices. He supports the procurement process for external suppliers as well as the external activities of design and development of Microwave Source sub-systems, developed in close cooperation with other Leonardo plants in Italy as Palermo and Campi Bisenzio (Florence). He will coordinate and supervise the integration and test activities of EM Microwave Source in the Laboratory Facilities of Nerviano Plant (Milano, Italy). He regularly interacts with CNES, Airbus and other specialists involved in the CARIOQA-PMP project in order to guarantee the challenging performance requested and to contribute to innovation with solutions and architectures that collect the technological leap and the heritage of past Leonardo space projects.