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Newsletter #9 / August 2013


Editors: Nicolas André, Christelle Feugeade, Etienne Pallier
Contact: europlanet-newsletter{at}


  1. Europlanet final report: available online
  2. EPSC 2013: University College London, 8-13 September 2013
  3. EPSC 2013: Europlanet Management meetings
  4. Europlanet-NA1: Observational Infrastructure Networking
  5. IMPEx: Integrated Medium for Planetary Exploration - a new research infrastructure for the European space research, inspired by EUROPLANET-RI.
  6. AstRoMap: European research roadmap for astrobiology.
  7. ESPaCE: the FP7 project “European Satellite PArtnership for Computing Ephemerides”
  8. Job oportunities: ESA Postdoctoral Fellowships in Space Science
  9. Other: Conferences and workshops.

Europlanet final report available online.

  • The FP7 Europlanet-RI project terminated on December 31 2012. During 4 years (2009-2012), Europlanet with the support of the European Commission has made every effort for a better integration of the planetary science community in Europe, for increasing synergies between space missions, ground-based observations, laboratory studies and simulations, and for developing tools and access to facilities corresponding to the fundamental needs of the science community.

  • The publishable final report available online summarises the activities and achievements of Europlanet RI .
  • Link to download the report:
  • Contacts:

EPSC 2013: University College London, 8-13 September 2013.

  • Europe's biggest meeting on planetary science comes to University College London this September. The European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2013 will bring together more than 800 of the world's leading planetary scientists and engineers. It is the first time that EPSC will have been held in the UK. More than 1100 abstracts have been submitted.
    EPSC 2013 will provide an attractive platform to exchange and present results, develop new ideas and to network the planetary science community in Europe. It will continue to have a distinctively interactive style, with a mix of talks, workshops and posters, intended to provide a stimulating environment for the community to meet.

    London is one of the great cities of the world, and the EPSC 2013 has a central location. The meeting will cover the whole scope of planetary science, including (for the first time) an industry-themed day on Wednesday 11 September. As well as generating an excellent scientific forum, we anticipate lively outreach and space policy sessions. EPSC 2013 will also provide plenty of opportunities to network in a relaxing atmosphere, starting with the Icebreaker Reception on the evening of Sunday, September 8, the sponsored drinks at the Poster Sessions (Tuesday, September 10, and Thursday, September 12) and the Congress Boat Trip down the Thames (Wednesday, 11 September 2013).

    To share the excitement of Solar System with a wider audience, there will be an accompanying 'Festival of the Planets' in and around London. Public events are being organised by academic institutions, museums, professional and amateur societies and space enthusiasts. Please see the EPSC 2013 Outreach website for all the details of what's going on and where.
    We look forward to seeing you there.
    The EPSC 2013 Local Organising Committee

  • Website:
  • Contacts: EPSC 2013 Local Organising Committee
    Steve Miller, UCL, London,
    Manuel Grande, UW-MAPS, Aberyswyth,
    Ralf Srama, USTUTT, Stuttgart,
    Copernicus meetings, Mario Ebel,
    Anita Heward,
    Joanna Fabbri, UCL,

EPSC 2013: Europlanet Management meetings.

  • Opening ceremony / Monday, September 09, 2013 / 9h00-10h30 / UCL, London

  • Europlanet 2020 (General assembly) / Thursday, September 12, 2013 / 12h45 - 14h15 / UCL, London

  • Website:
  • Contacts: Steve Miller, UCL, London,

Europlanet-NA1: Observational Infrastructure Networking.

  • By December 31, 2012 the highly successful EuroPlaNet-NA1 Observational Infrastructure Networking came to an end. Within the 4 years of the project NA1 organized and supported 25 workshops within key areas of European Planetology. As a highlight the 7th International Workshop on Planetary, Solar and Heliospheric Radio Emissions (PRE VII), which culminated in a Proceedings Book (577pp) in 2011, has to be mentioned (
    Furthermore highlights of NA1 Workshops were the Rosetta Workshop Series held at London, as well as the Workshop on ’EuroPlaNet-RI towards Sustainability’, held at Vienna.

  • Besides workshop organisation, the main highlight within NA1 was the development of the NA1-Matrix on Ground-based Facilities and Space Missions ( This provides the users with interactive links to space-based, as well as to ground-based instrumentation from professional institutions and the amateur community, which have the capability of supporting and complementing space missions. In strong cooperation between IWF-OeAW at Graz, Austria and UCL at London, UK, the continuation of improvement of the NA1-Matrix will also proceed beyond EuroPlaNet FP7.

  • Website:
  • Contacts: Manuel Scherf,

IMPEx: Integrated Medium for Planetary Exploration - a new research infrastructure for the European space research, inspired by EUROPLANET-RI.

  • The FP7-SPACE project IMPEx was established as a result of scientific collaboration between research teams from Austria, Finland, France, and Russia who begun their cooperation during the EUROPLANET era. Nowadays, the teams work on the integration of a set of interactive data mining, analysis and modeling tools in the field of space plasma and planetary physics. The major goal of IMPEx is to bridge the gap between spacecraft measurements and modern computational models of the planetary near-by space environments, enabling their joint interconnected operation for better understanding of related physical phenomena. The interactive computational framework and integrated research infrastructure being developed in the course of the IMPEx project, is comprised of numerical Hybrid/MHD and analytical Paraboloid-magnetosphere models, as well as of the data mining, visualization, and analysis tools: AMDA, 3DView, and ClWeb (
    The major challenge of the current phase of IMPEx development consists in the need to connect different types of data sources, including numerical simulation results and observational data, in order to give IMPEx users the possibility to analyze and visualize the respective data by means of interactive web-based project tools. One of the systems' cornerstones is the specification of a standard for describing the various data products involved (e.g., simulations and observations) within a common standard, e.g. Data Model (DM). The newly developed IMPEx DM extends the known SPASE DM which is already widely used, to describe observational data in space plasma research.
    In its goals and development work the project IMPEx continues the spirit of several key EUROPLANET-RI activities, such as IDIS, NA1, NA2 (discipline working groups), and JRA3-EMDAF. The continuity is specifically ensured by the fact that several leading scientists from these activities are now members of the IMPEx core team, or serve in the project consultative boards.

  • Website:
  • Contacts: IMPEx core team
    Coordinator - M. Khodachenko, IWF-�AW, Austria,, +43 316 41 20 661
    Deputy-Coordinator - E. Kallio, FMI, Finland,, +358 29 539 46 36);
    Project Scientist - V. G�not, CNRS/IRAP, France,, +33 5 61 55 85 54
    Project manager - T. Al-Ubaidi, IWF-�AW, Austria,, +43 316 41 20 673

AstRoMap: European research roadmap for astrobiology.

  • The AstRoMap project is a Coordination Action supported by the European Commission FP7 that started in October 2012. This project aims at facilitating information exchange and networking among the scientific community involved in astrobiology and related planetary science as well as to mobilize experts towards the definition of research priorities in astrobiology. The AstRoMap website is now online and will be regularly updated with information and news, feel free to send us any relevant announcement (event, conference, jobs.), we'll be happy to publish them on the website.

    The AstRoMap project tackles the issues of:

    • Defining future scientific priorities and recommend research activities in the field of astrobiology, thereby developing a European research roadmap for astrobiology.
    • Improving the knowledge of the scientific field of astrobiology in Europe and beyond,
    • Providing new networking tools and opportunity.
    3 areas of activities:
  • Online Community Consultation
  • Foresight
    4 thematic workshops
    Priorities setting
  • Education and public outreach
    Comprehensive education
    Outreach program

  • 3 Areas of objectives
    AstRoMap: The Astrobiology Road Mapping
  • Community consultation;
    - Perform a wide consultation on current and future research perspectives and priorities in astrobiology
    - Map the astrobiology and planetary sciences landscape in Europe and beyond.
    - Developing modern tools to facilitate networking and exchange of information within the research community
  • Foresight ; On the basis of the feedbacks from the community consultation and on dedicated surveys, expert
    workshops will be organised to discuss and reach consensus on research priorities in the
    field of astrobiology. Four workshops will be organised, each with a different topic:
    - Origin of organic compounds, steps to life
    - Physico-chemical boundary conditions for habitability
    - Biosignatures as facilitating life detection
    - Origin of Solar system
    Each workshop will be structured according to the following steps:
    1. Definition of the science goals
    2. Identification of knowledge gaps - Science and technology
    3. Suggested missions/instrumentation and experiments to reach the goals
  • Education and public outreach : Parallel to the workshop and consultation activities, AstRoMap
    will provide a comprehensive education and outreach program and disseminate the progress of
    AstRoMap through its web site.
  • The first step is to register into the database!
    Thank you in advance for participating in the AStRoMap activities with the final aim of developing a European research road map for astrobiology.

  • Website:
  • Contacts: Coordinator - Felipe Gómez, INTA-CAB, Spain,

ESPaCE: the FP7 project “European Satellite PArtnership for Computing Ephemerides”

  • The project “European Satellite PArtnership for Computing Ephemerides” (ESPaCE) started in June 2011 for four years and gather seven institutions : IMCCE-Paris Observatory (coordinator), Royal Observatory of Belgium, Joint Institute VLBI in Europe, DLR and Technical University in Berlin, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées-CNES in Toulouse and Technical University of Delft. Four institutions among them have been partners in the JRA1 structure of Europlanet (Mission support) and this new FP7 project was a wonderful opportunity  for  further investigations in their domains.  ESPaCE aims at strengthening these collaborative activities in the domain of the development of ephemerides and reference systems for natural satellites and spacecraft. An important part of the project will consist in the extraction and analysis of observations acquired by spacecraft in order to better cover the dynamics involved in the ephemerides construction. These observations will be combined with digitized ground-based astrometry in order to improve the constraints on the dynamics and the physics of these solar system objects. We will use all these data to provide improved ephemerides for natural satellites and spacecraft and to characterize rotation properties of selected satellites. We also intend to investigate how to bring further information from new technologies in particular VLBI and Laser Ranging (LR) techniques. All the results and documents will be made available using standard formats (VO standard, SPICE kernels) for the use by space agencies, planetary scientists, or the public.

  • Website:
  • Contacts: William Thuillot (Coordinator),, +33140512262
    and Valery Lainey (deputy),, +33140512269
  • ESPaCE board: J.-E. Arlot, V. Lainey, W. Thuillot  (IMCCE-Paris Obs.), V. Dehant, P. Rosenblatt (ORB), J. Oberst (TUB), L. Gurvits (JIVE), B. Vermeersen (TUD), J.-C. Marty (CNES), H. Hussmann (DLR)

Job opportunities

Other: Conferences and workshops

The contents of this newsletter are the sole responsibility of the authors, and they do not represent necessarily the views of the European Commission or its services. Whilst all reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter, it is provided without warranty and we accept no responsibility for any use that may be made of the information.

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