19th SPINE Meeting, SPIS Final Presentations & SPIS training, 19-21 March 2013


19th SPINE Meeting - 19-21 March 2013, ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

You are cordially invited to attend the 19th SPINE meeting and the final presentations of three ESA TRP funded activities, developed with the SPIS (Spacecraft Plasma Interaction System) software, followed by training on the SPIS-GEO and AISEPS applications.

Location and date:

All events will be held at ESTEC, Noordwijk the Netherlands from Tuesday 19 March to Thursday 21 March 2013.


Tuesday 19 March – ESTEC Room Ba024

13:00-17:00 19th SPINE meeting

13:00-14:00 - Standards in the area of spacecraft plasma interactions

14:00-15:00 - ESA's Technology development plans (GSTP, TRP, SSA and others)

15:00-17:00 - New results and current issues in the area of spacecraft plasma interactions.

Wednesday 20 March - ESTEC/Dance Room

9:00-10:30 - SPIS-GEO final presentation

10:40-12:10 - SPIS-Science final presentation

12:10-13:00 - Lunch break

13:00-14:30 - AISEPS final presentation

14:40-17:30 - SPIS-GEO training from 14:40 to 17:30 (2 hours 50 min)

Thursday 21 March – ESTEC room Ek139

9:00-17:00 - AISEPS whole day training.


  • Please let us know by return mail to David.Rodgers@esa.int if you intend to attend any of these
  • The training sessions on SPIS-GEO and AISEPS are limited to about 10 persons. We therefore ask you
also, if you are interested, to quickly and explicitly reserve your place for this specific event by returning this mail (first registered/first served) and we will let you know in advance.
  • In case you intend to attend the SPINE meeting please indicate whether you intend to make a
presentation and provide a title for it.

Meeting organisers: Eric Gengembre, David Rodgers, and Alain Hilgers

Further Information:

19th SPINE Meeting

The objective of the Spacecraft Plasma Interactions Network in Europe (SPINE) is to share resources and to co-ordinate efforts in all domains related to the interaction of Spacecraft with the space plasma, including spacecraft charging. It is acting as an advisory body for the ESA Space Environment and Effects Network of Competences. The 19th SPINE meeting is organised in coordination with several Final Presentations related to SPIS modelling framework which is supported by the SPINE community. . This meeting is open free of charge to all interested persons. Issues to be discussed, will include:
  • Possible new ISO standards in the area of spacecraft plasma interactions
and the need for updating of ECSS-E-ST-20-06C standard.
  • ESA's Technology development plans (GSTP, SSA and others)
  • New results and current issues in the area of spacecraft plasma interactions.
Please inform David.Rodgers@esa.int to register your intention to attend and to propose additional discussion topics and presentations you would like to make.

SPIS-GEO: Simplified MEO/GEO tools for spacecraft charging

The European Space Agency has funded an activity called "Simplified MEO/GEO tools for spacecraft charging".(SPIS-GEO)

This activity has been performed by an industrial consortium (ONERA, Astrium SAS, OHB-Sweden) led by the Artenum company. The aim of the SPIS-GEO project was to improve and adapt SPIS, a tool for the evaluation of surface electrostatic charging, so that it can be used without specialized training in the context of GEO/MEO applications.

SPIS has already shown its capabilities but required in general a high level of expertise to be fully exploited. The use of SPIS in an industrial context, such as for commercial missions in medium and geosynchronous Earth orbits (MEO/GEO), remained thus difficult and required experts in plasma physics and space environment.

SPIS-GEO addresses these issues with a fully redeveloped and deeply simplified user interface based on industrial standards. SPIS-GEO also includes extended models to handle the most relevant and critical configurations of commercial missions (e.g. eclipse exit transition, rich adaptable material properties).

SPIS-Science: Computational tools for spacecraft electrostatic cleanliness and payload.

The European Space Agency has funded an activity called “Computational tools for spacecraft electrostatic cleanliness and payload” (SPIS-SCIENCE).

The SPIS-SCIENCE project managed by ONERA aims at providing scientists with accurate evaluation of spacecraft plasma interaction effects for science missions with low-energy plasma instruments.

The SPIS (Spacecraft Plasma Interaction System) software has been modified in order to provide, at system level, accurate simulation of plasma interaction with spacecraft and instruments. Main new capabilities consists in: advanced instrumentation (plasma sensors, Langmuir probes, particle detectors), particle trajectory algorithms (Forward/backward, Test Particle method, exact/iterative solvers), simulation scenario (changes in simulation conditions), thin elements (wires, plates, semi-transparent grids), upgrade of boundary conditions, better user machine interfacing (pre/post processing, tabulated material properties).

Applications of the tool to Solar orbiter, Cluster and Cassini will be presented.

AISEPS: Assessment of the Interactions between Spacecraft and Electric Propulsion Systems.

The European Space Agency has funded an activity called “Assessment of the Interactions between Spacecraft and Electric Propulsion Systems” (AISEPS).

The AISEPS project managed by ASTRIUM SAS aims at moving a step forward in the simulation method, both from the accuracy and standardization point of view.

The SPIS (Spacecraft Plasma Interaction System) software has been modified in order to provide, at system level, accurate simulation of EP plume and its interaction with S/C. SPIS is an advanced tool to simulate spacecraft charging. Plume models for the eleven thrusters currently included in the Plume Database have been implemented in SPIS.

Application of the tool to SMART1, SGEO and Bepi-Colombo will be presented.

Attendees data
  1. General practical information


The ESA/ESTEC centre is located in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. The postal address is:

European Space Research & Technology Centre Postbus 299 2200 AG Noordwijk (The Netherlands)

See ESTEC Web page


Many hotels and accommodations are available at Noordwijk and Leiden. Please see this link for further information.


For further information about access and transportation.


  • The participation to the SPINE meeting, final presentations and SPIS training is free of charge.

Last edited by Alain Hilgers at Mar 20, 2013 9:04 AM - Edit content - View history - View source

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