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SPIS, the Spacecraft Plasma Interaction System

The SPIS project, for Spacecraft Plasma Interaction System, aims at developing a software toolkit for spacecraft-plasma interactions and spacecraft charging modelling. It was started in December 2002. The ESA contractors, ONERA, Artenum and University Paris 7, have three major responsibilities:

  • build the architecture of the Spacecraft-Plasma Interaction Software to be developed
  • implement some of the physical routines of the code
  • organize and co-ordinate with SPINE community
The SPINE community:
  • provides guidance for the software development through requirements and testing via the Software Development Advisory Board,
  • participates to the software development and testing with in-house implementations

User Registration

To access to the software, a user registration to the SPINE community is mandatory. Please follow the link SPINE Community registration form. If you have already an account, please go to the Login page.


The SPIS project has been initiated by the European Space Agency (ESA) and undertaken in the frame of the Spacecraft Plasma Interaction Network (SPINE).

The first development phase of the project has been performed by ONERA/DESP, Artenum and University Paris VII through the ESA contract Nbr: 16806/02/NL/JA).

Please refer to the Publication List for making reference to the relevant publications.

Required hardware/OS

The main components of SPIS are fully multi-platform. They have been successfully tested on Linux Suse/RedHat/Sarge, Windows 98/2000/XP, SUN Solaris 10 (ThirdPart components not provided in the SPIS releases) and Mac OSX Tiger (3D VTK based modules still experimental on this platform).

Every middle class Linux-based workstation is suitable for use SPIS on realistic cases. Below is an example of standard hardware configuration:

Artenum's Lucifer Workstation:

  • AMD 64bits 3.2GHz
  • From 2 to 4 GB RAM
  • 130 GB S-ATA HD
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6600 256MB video card
  • R/W DVD double layer
  • Suse 10 Professional and Artenum's Scientific Pack
With 2GB of RAM, such type of workstation allows to model easily up to 1.6 million of tetrahedrons models. The minimum required HD space is 500Mb for a full SPIS distribution (including all ThirdPart components and JVMs). 100Gb HD for simulation data storage is recommended.

The SPINE platform is hosted on LibreSource Enterprise Edition and maintained by Artenum and the SPINE's community.

Last edited by Amandine Champlain at Aug 25, 2017 4:56 PM