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Information on Symposia per Science Theme

Theme No.

Theme Title

Number of Symposia proposed

Symposia Title

Symposia Conveners

Biographical sketch of the Conveners




Planetary Sciences

Prof. Mahesh Anand


Prof. Jayant K Pati


Prof. Wolf Uwe Reimold



Planetary Surface Processes on Moon, Mars and Venus

P. Senthil Kumar 


S. Vijayan


R. Phani Rajasekhar (India)

Dr. P. Senthil Kumar is currently a Principal Scientist at CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad. Dr. Kumar’s research areas include planetary geology and geophysics (Moon, Mars and Venus), meteorite impact cratering, volcanism and tectonics, continental crustal thermal structure, and Precambrian geology. He started a new research activity of planetary geology at National Geophysical Research Institute in 2004 and is now developed into a promising new research group. He has more than 15 years of research experience in planetary geology.

Dr. Vijayan is currently a Scientist at Planetary Science Division, Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad. His research areas include planetary image processing and analysis, impact cratering processes, and fluvial geomorphology of Mars. With more than a decade experience in planetary data analysis, he has contributed to lunar and Mars science.

Dr. Rajasekhar is currently a Scientist at Planetary Science Division of Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad. He is a geophysicist with wide experience in gravity data processing and analysis of Earth and Planetary datasets. He is an active member of Chadrayaan and Mars Oribier missions of ISRO.

Surface processes, impact cratering, volcanism, tectonics and sedimentary processes

The symposium focuses on the recent advances in our understanding of planetary processes that govern the landscape evolution of terrestrial planets and moons, particularly Moon, Mars and Venus. A few major surface processes are impact cratering, volcanism, tectonism, and sedimentary processes, with atmosphere-surface and interior-surface interactions. A combination of these processes varies between planetary bodies. The recent and on-going planetary missions provided high spatial and spectral resolution image and spectroscopic datasets that have brought out unprecedented details of surface geological features and structures and material composition. These new datasets provided new insights into planetary surface processes and evolution. Space-borne geophysical datasets have also added significant insights into deeper structures and their connections to the surface features. Hence, the symposium would invite papers from experts in the field and provide a forum for presentation of results and discussion for the benefit of planetary science community.

Cosmochemistry of Planetary Materials and Planetary Processes.

Luigi Folco 


Luigi Folco is an Associate Professor of petrography and petrology at the Earth Science Department of the University of Siena where he holds the courses of Planetary Geology and Cosmochemistry. Since 2009 he is national coordinator of the Italian programme for the search for meteorites in Antarctica.

Meteorites, micrometeorites, Interplanetary dust particles, plannetary materials, cosmochemitry

This symposium focuses on the cosmochemistry of planetary materials to better understand the process by which the mnor bodies and the planets of the solar system formed and evolved. The session covers all aspects of cosmochemistry and meteoritics (including meteorites, micrometeorites, interplanetary dust particles, materials acquired through sample return missions from asteroids, comets and the Moon) orbiter and lander compostional analyses of planetary surfaces.

Impact Cratering – The Works

Wolf Uwe Reimold 


Prof. W. Uwe Reimold is working in impact cratering research for about four decades. He was the President of the Geological Society of South Africa in 2002 and is a recipient of the Barringer Medal and Award (2009) by The Meteoritical Society. Throughout his career Uwe Reimold has involved himself with geological outreach and geoheritage promotion.

Impact processes, shock metamorphism, impact record, state-of-the-art analysis of impactites

The symposium will deal with the impact records on Earth and other solid planetary bodies, with the recognition of impact structures, with the state-of-the-art field, laboratory, and experimental study of the impact process and its products. Attempts will be made to emphasize the state of the art knowledge to identify pertinent research questions, and to stimulate active debate to take the discipline further.

Remote Sensing-Based Compositional Studies of Planetary Bodies and Planetary Geomorphology

Deepak Dhingra 


Neeraj Srivastava 


Megha U. Bhatt 


[1] Dr. Deepak Dhingra is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, IIT Kanpur. He has extensively worked in the field of planetary compositional remote sensing for more than 16 years. His expertise is in lunar geology and studies of Enceladus, a satellite of Saturn. He was involved in scientific studies and spectral calibration activities in ISROs Chandrayaan-1 Mission.

[2] Dr. Neeraj Srivastava is currently a Senior Scientist at Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad. Dr. Srivastava is working in planetary remote sensing since 2002. Dr. Srivastava has extensively worked on planetary processes such as impact cratering, volcanism and space weathering using remote sensing datasets from several missions including Chandrayaan-1.

[3] Dr. Megha U. Bhatt is currently a Scientist at Planetary Science Division, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad. Her research areas include planetary image processing and analysis for deciphering spectral composition. With over a decade of experience in working in the field of planetary sciences she was involved in scientific studies and spectral calibration activities in ISROs Chandrayaan-1 Mission.

Mineralogy, elemental composition, geological evolution, spectroscopy, planetary landscapes

Compositional diversity and characteristics is key for understanding the evolutionary workings of planetary bodies and their landforms. Compositional estimates derived from variety of remote sensing techniques spanning the electromagnetic spectrum (X-ray, γ-ray, UV, VIS, NIR & beyond) from several recent missions are revolutionizing understanding of geological evolution of planetary bodies and their landscapes. It represents one of the most active research areas in planetary sciences world-wide.

Comparative Planetary Mineralogy and Petrology using Terrestrial Analogues

V. J. Rajesh (India)

Satadru Bhattacharya


Dr. V.J. Rajesh is Associate Professor in Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, India. He obtained Ph.D. degree in Geology from Yokohama National University, Japan. He was the recipient of many prestigious international fellowships such as Monbukagakusho Scholarship and Japanese Society of Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellowship of Japanese Government, Inoue Science Foundation Fellowship from Japan, and Brain Korea Fellowship of Government of South Korea. His fundamental research interests include mineralogy and petrology, hyperspectral remote sensing, planetary geology and planetary analogue research.

Dr. S. Bhattacharya is a Senior Scientist at Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad associated with Planetary Sciences Division. His expertise mainly involves reflectance spectra, planetary geoscience and study of terrestrial planetary analogues.

Mineralogy, Petrology, Spectroscopy, Planetary materials, Terrestrial Analogues

This session shall focus on the Mineralogy, Petrology, Spectroscopic studies of planetary materials (including soil, minerals and rocks) using field, laboratory and remote sensing studies of the planets of the solar system. The session shall include all aspects of comparative study of asteroids, planets of the solar system and their moons using terrestrial analogues.

Space Instrumentations and Innovations- Downsizing and Energy Efficient Technology

Varun Sheel (India), M. Shanmugam (India), Debabrata Banerjee (India)

Prof. Varun Sheel is currently Chairman of Planetary Science Division at the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad. Prof. Sheel’s research areas include planetary atmospheres, through modelling and observations. He has made important contributions to the Martian ionosphere and the effect of dust storms on it. He is the PI of the Radio Occultation Experiment proposed for a future ISRO mission to Mars.

Dr. Shanmugam is currently a Scientist at Planetary Science Division, Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad. His research areas include Space Instrumentation and study of semi-conductor devices/ASICs. With more than a decade experience in payload development for planetary missions, he has made several important contributions to the payloads for Chandrayan-1 and 2.

Prof. Debabrata Banerjee is presently involved in the development of Gamma Ray Spectroscopy technique to study chemical composition of planetary surfaces (Moon, Mars and Asteroids).

This session focuses on the scientific instrumentation and measurement techniques for all aspects of Solar-Terrestrial and Planetary Exploration. In addition to improving the performance of remote sensing and in-situ instruments in space, the session will cover recent technological advancement in reducing size and weight and opening up new markets and applications for these instruments. This session will deal with Space Missions that will have recently been launched and will be launched in the near future by ISRO, NASA, ESA, JAXA etc. and dedicated to planetary and solar terrestrial sciences. This session will help to foster potential collaborations among instrument scientists and engineers as well as other researchers in space science and instrumentation. The symposium will cover talks on new instrumentation, related mission concepts and enabling technologies, design principles, miniaturization, shared subsystems, component selection, and instrument calibration.

Planetary habitability and Astrobiology

Anil Dutt Shukla (India)

Anil D. Shukla is mainly interested in elemental and isotope geochemistry to understand terrestrial and extra-terrestrial materials. Dr. Shukla has been associated with research and collection of more than 2 dozen meteorites from India starting with Piplia Kalan in 1996 and the most recent Mukundpura Carbonaceous Chondrite. Recently he has started working on astrobiology, planetary analogues, geochemical and geomorphological studies involving the Indian geological record. Dr. Shukla has been actively involved in India’s Planetary Exploration Program since its inception.

Extremophiles, Astrobiology, Extraterrestrial habitats, Microbial Life, Space colonisation

This session shall focus on the planetary habitability, search for life and its forms in extreme planetary environments and astrobiology pertaining to Asteroids, Venus, Mars and Moon. This will also discuss habitat suitability and feasibility for the colonisation of various extraterrestrial bodies.