Physics– PHY

The Physics scientific domain is tasked with designing and producing measurement and observation resources for aerospace applications, both defense and civil. Its activity covers the entire range from fundamental components up to systems integrated in their environment. These resources need to meet the challenges presented by observation, detection, identification and measurement that are as non-intrusive as possible, at ever-longer distances, more rapidly, and with continually-enhanced resolution and experimental robustness, in order to better understand the physics at work in the observed phenomena.

The researchers in the Physics domain work in the Optics and associated techniques department (DOTA), the Electromagnetism and radar department (DEMR) and the Physics, instrumentation and space department (DPHY). Through their activity, these researchers contribute in this way to the most recent scientific progress in the fields of high potential technologies (nanotechnologies, micro- and nano-electronics, photonics), signal and data processing, and quantum technologies (photodetectors, coherent sources, cold atom systems, etc.).



We support strategic developments by laying the groundwork for new market opportunities (safety, environment), anticipating electromagnetic and optronics warfare, and exploring the potential offered by the increasing use of drones and nanosatellites.


Scientific topics of the Physics domain

The PHY domain covers 22 scientific topics spread across 3 departments of ONERA.

Topics Scientific Department References
Electromagnetic compatibility DEMR 63 - 8, 6
Radar imaging and remote detection DEMR 63 - 8, 6
Propagation and radio communications DEMR 63 - 8, 6
Systems and technologies for radar and electronic warfare DEMR 63 - 8
Signal processing for radar and electronic warfare DEMR 63 - 8, 6
Antennas, microwave materials and stealth technology DEMR 63 - 8, 3
Simulation of the electromagnetic scene DEMR 63 - 8
High-performance space accelerometry DPHY 63, 28 - 3
Cold-atom inertial sensors DPHY 63 - 4
Electrostatic charges and discharges on satellites DPHY 63, 28 - 3
Effects of the radiative aerospace environment on onboard systems DPHY 63, 28 - 3
Interaction of the space environment with materials DPHY 63, 28 - 3
Lightning, plasma and electric thrusters DPHY 63 - 4
Instrumentation and metrology via laser spectroscopy DPHY 30, 63 - 4, 8
Micro/nano-systems (MEMS/NEMS) and miniature inertial sensors DPHY 63 - 3
Space environment models and measurements DPHY 63, 28 - 19, 3
Active and passive remote detection DOTA 63 - 4
Wave surface control, adaptive optics DOTA 30 - 4, 5
Optoelectronics: photo detection and nanophotonics DOTA 63 - 3, 4, 8
Fiber lasers, lidars and 3D imagers DOTA 30, 63 - 4
Optical sensors and hyperspectral imagers DOTA 30 - 4
Environment and signatures for optronic sensors DOTA 30 - 4, 5


ElectroMagnetism and Radar (DEMR)

Optics and Associated Techniques (DOTA)

Physis Instrumentation Environment Space (DPHY)