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Research Fellows Directory

Michele Dougherty

Professor Michele Dougherty FRS

Research Fellow


Imperial College London

Research summary

My research focuses on analysis of magnetic field observations from the

international NASA-ESA Cassini-Huygens spacecraft orbiting the Saturn system

as well as on plans for designing and building the magnetometer instrument on

the ESA JUICE mission (due for launch in 2022). I am the Principal Investigator

for both instruments. On Cassini our focus is to understand the plasma processes

and dynamics of the Saturnian magnetosphere, resolve the internal planetary

magnetic field and the implications of magnetic perturbations in the vicinity of Titan

and the other icy satellites (such as our discovery of a water vapour plume at

Enceladus). The over-arching theme for JUICE is: The emergence of habitable

worlds around gas giants. At Ganymede, the mission will characterise in detail the

ocean layers; provide topographical, geological and compositional mapping of the

surface; study the physical properties of the icy crusts; characterise the internal

mass distribution, investigate the exosphere; study Ganymede’s intrinsic magnetic

field and its interactions with the Jovian magnetosphere. For Europa, the focus will

be on the non-ice chemistry, understanding the formation of surface features and

subsurface sounding of the icy crust over recently active regions. Callisto will be explored as a witness of the early solar system.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Scheme: Royal Society Research Professorship

Dates: Oct 2014 - Sep 2019

Value: £829,161.54