Olivier Witasse

Planetary Scientist


Main Research Fields

Planetary science, plasma physics, planetary space weather


  • Study of planetary upper atmospheres (Venus, Earth, Mars, Titan)
    • 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: solar wind interactions, origin(s)

Ongoing collaborations

  • Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (Toulouse, France)
  • Observatoire Royal de Belgique (Bruxelles, Belgium)
  • University of Leicester (UK)



A selection of publications:

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

Bergeot, N., Witasse, O., et al., A new empirical model of the Mars ionospheric total electron content based on Mars Express MARSIS data, J. Space Weather Space Clim. 9, A36, 2019

Molina-Cuberos, G, et al, Aerosols: The key to understanding Titan's lower ionosphere, Planetary and Space Science, Volume 153, p. 157-162, 2018

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*

Cardnell, S.; Witasse, O., et al., A photochemical model of the dust-loaded ionosphere of Mars, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 121, doi:10.1002/2016JE005077, 2016





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)