18th SPINE meeting

The 18th SPINE Meeting will take place on 7 March at ESA/ESTEC Noordwijk. The Netherlands.

One or two SPIS training sessions will be organised the same week. The first session will take place on 5-6 March.

Depending on the number of expressions of interest received a second session may be organised on 8-9 March.

To express your expression of interest, please send us the following form at preferably before the 15th of December 2011.

SPIS is your software, tell us if a SPIS training may interest you!

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1) SPINE meeting: Workshop and call for inputs

The 18th SPINE meeting will focus on the following themes:

  • R&D Requirements for Spacecraft Plasma Interactions
  • SPIS improvements and Evolutions

The meeting will also be a chance for people to present and discuss topics that may later be presented at invalid link : 12th Spacecraft Charging Conference(Illegal character in path at index 4: 12th Spacecraft Charging Conference).

1.1) Invitation and call for contribution

You are invited to participate in the 18th workshop in the SPINE series. Attendees are invited to make presentations on their work in the field of spacecraft plasma interactions. Presentations of a general nature are welcome and this is a good opportunity to present work to European colleagues that may later be given at the SCTC in May. In addition, we invite your ideas on two specific themes:

  • ‘R&D Requirements for Spacecraft Plasma Interactions’ to help ESA to define a new Technical Dossier outlining the needs for future tools, testing, experimentation and Methodologies, and ;
  • ‘SPIS improvements and Evolutions’ describing recent changes to SPIS and needs for future evolution.

Please indicate your intention to attend the meeting by and to make a presentation by sending an email to: David.Rodgers at preferably before 20 February 2012.

The meeting is preceded by a SPIS training session on 5-6 March. A second training course on 8-9 March may take place depending on registration numbers.Please note that the ESA-sponsored places on the first course and the second, if it takes place, have already been allocated.

1.1) Talks, Data and presentations of the meeting

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2) SPIS training: Introduction to SPIS.

2.1) Overview and objectives

In response to the community demand, Onera and Artenum, with the support of ESA, intends to organize a two days SPIS training course.

This course shall provide an introduction to the use of the spacecraft-plasma interaction tool SPIS. Its aim is to make new users autonomous regarding the basic uses of SPIS at the issue of the lecture. In addition, the course will act as a refresher course for more experienced users, to help make them familiar with new updates in the code. A special attention will be done on the basic modelling of a few classic space configurations like GEO and LEO orbits.

This course shall gather both talks and hands on trainings.

The participation to the SPINE meeting itself can be independent on the participation to the training.

2.2) Programme

A preliminary program is already available at the bottom of this page. Its contains may be updated according feedbacks gathered through the collected expressions of interest.

2.3) Expression of interest and cost information

Up to two sessions (of up to 12 students) are intended at ESA/ESTEC, in Netherland, in coordination with the next SPINE meeting (i.e. 2-days course 1, then 1-day SPINE, then 2-days course 2). The planned dates for the training are:

  • 5-6 March 2012: SPIS training course – session 1
  • 8-9 March 2011: SPIS training course – session 2

A participation fee of 1350.00 € VAT excluded by person for the 2 days lecture will be demanded to cover the organization cost, with a possibility of reductions for organizations (i.e. commercial company or academic) wishing to register for the same session more than one person. In this case a sliding scale fee is proposed (reduction of 5% on the fee for the second student, 10% on the third, 15% on the fourth…) in the limit of the maximum number of students by session.

In order to support the SPINE community dynamics, ESA also proposes an “ESA student grant” for a limited number of invited students. Preference will be given to ESA staff, academia and new users.. Please contact ESA for further information by mailing to Mr. David Rodgers (david.rodgers _at_

We remind you that, up to now, the organization of these “Winter school” sessions remains dependent on a minimum quorum of pre-registered students according your expressions of interest.

3) General practical information

3.1) Dates:
  • 5-6 March 2012: SPIS training course – session 1
  • 7 March 2012: 18th SPINE meeting. The meeting will start at 9:00 and end at noon in Wednesday, March 7.
  • 8-9 March 2011: SPIS training course – session 2
3.2) Location

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

3.3) Accommodation

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

3.4) Transportation

For further information about access and transportation.
Agrandir le plan

3.5) Participation
  • The participation to the SPINE meeting itself is free of charge.
  • A participation fee will be demanded for the SPIS Training Course (see above).

Workshop sponsors

ESA, ONERA, Artenum

Preliminary program

1st day session

08.00 – 10.00: Part I – The modelling chain and the SPIS-UI framework
  • 1) Global overview of plasma and spacecraft surface interaction concepts
  • 2) General presentation of the SPIS-UI framework
    • 2.1) Global overview
    • 2.2) Presentation of the Graphical User Interface
    • 2.3) Concept of Integrated Modelling Environment (IME)
  • 3) Step-by-step approach on a representative example
    • 3.1) Presentation of the «spis project» data structure
    • 3.2) Introduction to the geometrical modelling with Geometry Manager and Gmsh
    • 3.3) Concept of geometrical groups
    • 3.4) Initial and Boundary Conditions (IBC) and material properties attributions and settings
    • 3.5) Meshing and tricks
    • 3.6) Groups conversion and fields mapping
    • 3.7) Global parameters settings
    • 3.8) Simulation launching and control
    • 3.9) Data extraction and analysis
    • 3.10) Presentation of the post-processing tools
10.00 – 10.15: Coffee break
10.15 – 12.30: Part II: SPIS-NUM control: numerical models selection and use
  • 1) General presentation of the SPIS-NUM capabilities
    • Available Documentation
    • “How to” html pages : Controlling Num from UI is the reference document
  • 2) Detailed presentation of :
    • A/ the physics;
    • B/ NUM models and solvers; and
    • C/ HOW TO USE them from UI
    • 2.1) Plasma
      • 2.1.1) Matter dynamics
      • 2.1.2) Matter sources
      • 2.1.3) Field model (E-B)
      • 2.1.4) Volume interactions
      • 2.1.5) Space resolution, time steps and tricks
    • 2.2) Spacecraft
      • 2.2.1) Material properties, including secondary emission and photoemission
      • 2.2.2) Equivalent circuit
      • 2.2.3) Artificial particle sources
      • 2.2.4) Time steps and tricks
      • 2.2.5) Current scalers
    • 2.3) Other features
12.30 – 14.00: Lunch
14.00 – 18.00: Part III: Hands on training

Long Debye length regime : GEO spacecraft simulation

  • 1) Description: worst-case environment, representative spacecraft (eventually in eclipse exit)
  • 2) The physics to catch : inverted potential gradient situation with large negative potentials
  • 3) Defining the simulation settings
    • 3.1) Geometry and mesh settings
    • 3.2) Material properties
    • 3.3) Initial and boundary conditions
    • 3.4) Plasma environment
    • 3.5) Barrier of potential
    • 3.6) Time steps
    • 3.7) Accuracy and efficiency
  • 4) Results interpretation

2nd day

08.00 – 12.00: Short Debye length regime : LEO or Solar Wind simulation
  • 1) Description: spherical probe covered with dielectrics submitted to a dense drifting plasma and solar flux
  • 2) The physics to catch : photoelectron barrier of potential, wake, differential charging
  • 3) Defining the simulations settings
    • 3.1) Mesh resolution
    • 3.2) Boundary conditions
    • 3.3) Plasma model
    • 3.2) Time steps
    • 3.3) Accuracy and efficiency
  • 4) Interpretation of the results
12.00 – 13.30: lunch
13.30 – 17.30: Part IV: Advanced Uses

Example of list of “practical cases” will be defined and may include focused items like:

  • 1) A few advices to define properly an external boundary shape adapted to my model.
  • 2) Some recommendations for plasma models selection.
  • 3) How to define and control a multi-species particle source
  • 4) A possible approach to model a solar array or a thin wire.
  • 5) How can I check my mesh ?
  • 6) How can I process and export my results ?
  • 7) The refined taste to the “numerical steps”.
  • 8) How can I set transitions within the course of the simulation ?
17.30 to end: Part V: Installation and advanced settings
  • 1) Basic installation: But in fact, here is nothing to do!
  • 2) Portability issues: an overview of the settings of the natives components of SPIS
  • 3) Advanced settings: overview of the settings configuration files
  • 4) Some tricks to “optimise SPIS”.