Olivier Witasse

Planetary Scientist


Main Research Fields

Planetary science, plasma physics, 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:

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

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)