Olivier Witasse

Planetary Scientist


Main Research Fields

Planetary sciences, aeronomy, planetary space weather


  • Study of planetary upper atmospheres (Venus, Earth, Mars, Titan, ice giants)
    • Ionosphere, airglow and auroras
    • Couplings between atmospheric envelopes
    • Interaction solar wind-atmosphere
    • Planetary space weather
  • Propagation of solar wind features in the heliosphere, study of galactic cosmic rays
  • Analysis of radiation monitor data (onboard INTEGRAL, Rosetta,...)
  • Numerical modelling, data analysis, data processing techniques
  • Study of the martian moons and small bodies

Ongoing collaborations

  • Observatoire Royal de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
  • University of Leicester (UK)


A selection of publications:

Sanchez-Cano, B. Witasse, O. et al., Solar Energetic Particle Events Detected in the Housekeeping Data of the European Space Agency's Spacecraft Flotilla in the Solar System, Space Weather, 2023

Molina-Cuberos, G., Witasse, O., et al., The Low‐Altitude Ionosphere of the Ice Giant Planets, The Journal of Geophysical Research Planets, 2023

Cecconi, B., Witasse, O., et al., Effect of an Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejection on Saturn's Radio Emission, Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences, 2022

Khan, M., Witasse, O., et al., Design of an in-situ science mission to a Jupiter Trojan, Planetary and Space Science, 2022

Sefton-Nash, E., Thébault, G., Witasse, O., et al., Visibility analysis of Phobos to support a science and exploration platform, Earth, Planets and Space, Volume 73, Issue 1, article id.215, 2021

Sanchez-Cano, B. et al., Ionosphere of Mars during the consecutive solar minima 23/24 and 24/25 as seen by MARSIS-Mars Express, Icarus, 2021

Knutsen, E., Witasse, O., et al., Galactic cosmic ray modulation at Mars and beyond measured with EDACs on Mars Express and Rosetta, Astronomy and Astrophysics, 650, 2021 *Web story*

Müller, F. Carraz, O., Visser, P., Witasse, O., Cold atom gravimetry for planetary missions, Planetary and Space Science, 194, 2020

Honig, T., Witasse, O. et al., Multi-point galactic cosmic ray measurements between 1 and 4.5 AU over a full solar cycle, Ann. Geophys., 37, 903–918, 2019

Conroy, P. et al., A new method for determining the total electron content in Mars’ ionosphere based on Mars Express MARSIS data, Planetary and Space Science, 2019

Witasse, O., et al., Interplanetary coronal mass ejection observed at STEREO-A, Mars, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Saturn, and New Horizons en route to Pluto: Comparison of its Forbush decreases at 1.4, 3.1, and 9.9 AU, Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Volume 122, Issue 8, pp. 7865-7890, 2017 *Web story*

Project/mission at ESA

Past projects:

  • Cassini-Huygens
  • Venus Express
  • Chandrayaan-1
  • Mars Express
  • ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter
  • Ice Giant mission concept

Current project:

  • JUICE: JUpiter ICy moon Explorer (since January 2015)