Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Thomas J. Fauchez


Thomas J. Fauchez's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.6230
Org Code: 693
Mail Code 693
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Thomas Fauchez is a space research scientist employed by American University at NASA GSFC in the Planetary Systems Laboratory (code 693). His research interests involve the modeling of exoplanetary atmospheres, climate and circulation using general circulation models (GCMs) with a particular emphasis on clouds.

Dr. Fauchez created the TRAPPIST-1 Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI), the first structure international model intercomparison of a confirmed exoplanets that is connected to simulated observations. He has then created the Climates Using Interactive Suites of Intercomparisons Nested for Exoplanet Studies (CUISINES), a large framework co-led with Linda Sohl to host model-intercomparisons for the exoplanet community (

He also employs radiative transfer tools such as the Planetary Spectrum generator (PSG, to simulate atmospheric characterization of rocky exoplanets and biosignature detection with future space-based observatories.

Before his position in planetary science, Thomas Fauchez was a NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) fellow at NASA GSFC, in the Climate and Radiation Laboratory (code 613) under the supervision of Steven Platnick. He worked on cirrus cloud heterogeneity impacts for MODIS cloud property retrievals, in the visible and thermal infrared.

He received his PhD in atmospheric physics at Lille University in the Laboratoire d'Optique Atmospherique (LOA) under the supervision of Pr. Philippe Dubuisson, Dr Celine Cornet and Dr Frederic Szczap (LaMP). He studied cirrus cloud heterogeneities and their impacts on the thermal infrared radiative transfer and cloud property retrievals.

Thomas Fauchez also received a master's degree in space sciences, speciality astrophysics. His master's thesis involved the study of massive star binary systems with colliding winds using XMM Newton X-rays data with the GAPHE group at Liege University, Belgium.


Teaching Experience

During the 3 years of his PhD thesis work, he taught optics, fluids mechanics, and solid mechanics to bachelor students in sciences.

Several times per year,  at the astronomy/astrophysics exhibition center in France (Palais de l'Univers et des Sciences), he presented talks to the genral public regarding initiation to the astronomy.

Dr. Fauchez gives also weekly free online courses on astronomy to a small group of students.


Ph.D. in atmospheric physics Oct. 2010 - Sep. 2013
University of Lille 1, Villeneuve D’Ascq, France.
Thesis: “Effects of cloud heterogeneities on the optical and microphysical properties of cirrus clouds retrieved by the A-train captors”.
Supervisors: Philippe Dubuisson, Céline Cornet, Frédéric Szczap.

M.S. in spatial sciences Sep. 2008 – Jul. 2010
Liège University Liège, Belgium.
Thesis: The X-ray emission of the colliding wind binary V444 Cyg.
Supervisors: Michael De Becker, Yael Naze

B.S. in physic Sep. 2005 – Jui. 2008
ULCO University Calais, France.
Thesis: Study of the multiple/binary system HD150136.
Supervisors: Eric Gosset, Yael Naze


NASA Group Achievement Award for the LUVOIR team                                                                            2019

NASA Group Achievement Award for the PSG team                                                                             2020

NASA Solar System Division STAR 2021

NASA peer award 2021

NASA RGH award for Science 2023


NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship - NASA Postdoctoral Program, Universities Space Research Association (USRA) - Awarded: 2014-06-05

Dates:  - 



2023. "The Prospect of Detecting Volcanic Signatures on an ExoEarth Using Direct Imaging." The Astronomical Journal 166 (5): 199 [10.3847/1538-3881/acfe12] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "CAMEMBERT: A Mini-Neptunes General Circulation Model Intercomparison, Protocol Version 1.0.A CUISINES Model Intercomparison Project." The Planetary Science Journal 3 (11): 261 [10.3847/psj/ac9dfe] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "The TRAPPIST-1 Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI). I. Dry Cases—The Fellowship of the GCMs." The Planetary Science Journal 3 (9): 211 [10.3847/psj/ac6cf0] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "The TRAPPIST-1 Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI). III. Simulated Observables—the Return of the Spectrum." The Planetary Science Journal 3 (9): 213 [10.3847/psj/ac6cf1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Volcanic Climate Warming Through Radiative and Dynamical Feedbacks of SO 2 Emissions." Geophysical Research Letters 49 (4): [10.1029/2021gl096612] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "No evidence of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus from independent analyses." Nature Astronomy 5 (7): 631-635 [10.1038/s41550-021-01422-z] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "TRAPPIST Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI) Workshop Report." The Planetary Science Journal 2 (3): 106 [10.3847/psj/abf4df] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "The First Habitable-zone Earth-sized Planet from TESS. I. Validation of the TOI-700 System." The Astronomical Journal 160 (3): 116 [10.3847/1538-3881/aba4b2] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "The First Habitable Zone Earth-sized Planet from TESS. III: Climate States and Characterization Prospects for TOI-700 d." The Astronomical Journal 160 (118): 19pp. [10.3847/1538-3881/aba4b4] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Detectability of Molecular Signatures on TRAPPIST-1e through Transmission Spectroscopy Simulated for Future Space-based Observatories." The Astrophysical Journal 898 (2): L33 [10.3847/2041-8213/aba4a1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Dim Prospects for Transmission Spectra of Ocean Earths around M Stars." The Astrophysical Journal 891 (1): 58 [10.3847/1538-4357/ab72f9] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "TRAPPIST-1 Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI): motivations and protocol version 1.0." Geoscientific Model Development 13 (2): 707-716 [10.5194/gmd-13-707-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Sensitive probing of exoplanetary oxygen via mid-infrared collisional absorption." Nature Astronomy 4 (4): 372-376 [10.1038/s41550-019-0977-7] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "The L 98-59 System: Three Transiting, Terrestrial-size Planets Orbiting a Nearby M Dwarf." The Astronomical Journal 158 (1): 32 [10.3847/1538-3881/ab2459] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "An Assessment of the Impacts of Cloud Vertical Heterogeneity on Global Ice Cloud Data Records From Passive Satellite Retrievals." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres [10.1029/2018jd029681] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Cirrus Horizontal Heterogeneity and 3-D Radiative Effects on Cloud Optical Property Retrievals From MODIS Near to Thermal Infrared Channels as a Function of Spatial Resolution." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 123 (19): 11,141-11,153 [10.1029/2018jd028726] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Scale dependence of cirrus heterogeneity effects. Part II: MODIS NIR and SWIR channels." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 18 (16): 12105-12121 [10.5194/acp-18-12105-2018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Explicit cloud representation in the Atmos 1D climate model for Earth and rocky planet applications." AIMS Geosciences 4 (4): 180-191 [10.3934/geosci.2018.4.180] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Scale dependence of cirrus horizontal heterogeneity effects on TOA measurements – Part I: MODIS brightness temperatures in the thermal infrared." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 17 (13): 8489-8508 [10.5194/acp-17-8489-2017] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "The O2 A-Band in the Fluxes and Polarization of Starlight Reflected by Earth-Like Exoplanets." The Astrophysical Journal 842 (1): 41 [10.3847/1538-4357/aa6e53] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. " Cirrus heterogeneity effects on cloud optical properties retrieved with an optimal estimation method from MODIS VIS to TIR channels." AIP Conference Proceedings 1810 (1): [10.1063/1.4975504] [Proceedings]

2017. "A fast hybrid (3-D/1-D) model for thermal radiative transfer in cirrus via successive orders of scattering." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 122 (1): 344-366 [10.1002/2016jd025607] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Impacts of cloud heterogeneities on cirrus optical properties retrieved from space-based thermal infrared radiometry." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 8 (2): 633-647 [10.5194/amt-8-633-2015] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Impact of cirrus clouds heterogeneities on top-of-atmosphere thermal infrared radiation ." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 14 5599-5615 [10.5194/acp-14-5599-2014] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "A flexible three-dimensional stratocumulus, cumulus and cirrus cloud generator (3DCLOUD) based on drastically simplified atmospheric equations and the Fourier transform framework ." Geosci. Model. Dev. 7 1779-1801 [10.5194/gmdd-7-295-2014] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Assessment of Cloud Heterogeneities Effects on Brightness Temperatures Simulated with a 3D Monte-Carlo Code in the Thermal Infrared." AIP Conf. Proc. 1531 75-78 [DOI: 10.1063/1.4804711] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Evaluation of cloud heterogeneities effects on total and polarized visible radiances as measured by POLDER/PARASOL and consequences on retrieved cloud properties." AIP Conf. Proc. 1531 99-102 [DOI: 10.1063/1.4804717] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "The X-ray emission of the colliding wind binary V444 Cyg." Bulletin de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège 80 673-677 [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "HD 150136: towards one of the most massive systems?." Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 6 (Symposium S272): 521-522 [DOI: 10.1017/S1743921311011276] [Journal Article/Letter]