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
  • 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:

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

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*

Palmerio, E., Kilpua, E., Witasse, O., et al., CME Magnetic Structure and IMF Preconditioning Affecting SEP Transport, Space Weather, Volume 19, Issue 4, article id. e2020SW002654, 2021

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

Sánchez–Cano, B., Witasse, O., Lester, M., Rahmati, A., Ambrosi, R., Lillis, R., et al., 2018, Energetic particle showers over Mars from comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 123, 8778– 8796

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)