Principal Investigator for CIS
Nationality: French and Hellenic
Dr. Dandouras was born in Athens, Greece. A graduate in Physics from the University of Athens, he then prepared his PhD in Space Physics at the University of Toulouse, France. Using dual-spacecraft (ISEE-1 and 2) data analysis techniques, and with Professor Henri Rème as thesis advisor, he studied the dynamics of the plasma sheet in the Earth's magnetotail, a key region for the triggering of magnetospheric substorms. These are events during which a large part of the energy transferred from the solar wind is dissipated in the Earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere.
He then spent several months at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of Washington, Seattle, collaborating with these institutes that where involved in the ISEE-1 and 2 space project, and that later became co-investigator institutes for the CIS experiment onboard Cluster.
Back to Toulouse, he has since been research physicist at CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), at the CESR laboratory (Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements).
His research interests include solar wind-magnetosphere coupling, terrestrial magnetosphere dynamics, and in particular the dynamics of the inner magnetosphere: the area where multiple particle populations coexist and interact (plasmasphere, ring current, exosphere). But the inner magnetosphere is also a critical region for space and human activities, since telecommunication and navigation satellites have their orbits in this region of the magnetosphere, where severe space weather phenomena can develop, and whose underlying physical mechanisms are not well understood.
Iannis Dandouras has been involved in Cluster from the time when the project was under preparation, in the early 90s, working with the PI (principal investigator) of the very successful CIS experiment, Professor Henri Rème. In 2005 Professor Rème offered him the role of PI, and this was an exciting new challenge, since the CIS team is a large international consortium, involving institutes from both sides of the Atlantic and about 60 co-investigators.
Iannis Dandouras' research interests include also the dynamics of the magnetospheres of the outer planets, and in particular Saturn's magnetosphere and its interaction with Titan, this moon with a very dense atmosphere, resembling the pre-biotic atmosphere of Earth. He is involved as co-investigator in the MIMI experiment onboard the Cassini mission to Saturn, in the IMPACT experiment onboard the STEREO two-spacecraft solar study mission, and in the SERENA experiment which is under preparation for the BepiColombo mission to Mercury. Back to Earth, he is Deputy PI of the HIA experiment onboard the Double Star mission, which is the fruit of cooperation between the Chinese National Space Administration and ESA.