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IRF Uppsala
RPF programme
IRF-U Staff
PhD studies
Solar Orbiter
Swedish Institute of Space Physics (59°50.272′N, 17°38.786′E)
IRF-U Space Plasma Physics
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Welcome to the research programme

Space Plasma Physics


Publications and Presentations


Other resources

NEWS -- see also our page in Swedish

23 Nov 2023: Joshua Dreyer defends his PhD thesis on Cassini investigations of Saturn's ionosphere at Uppsala University. Faculty opponent is professor Ingo Müller-Wodarg, Imperial College, London.

8 Nov 2023: We form part of the proposing teams for two of the three medium-class missions ESA selected for detailed investigation and preparation: M-MATISSE for exploration of space around Mars and Plasma Observatory for detailed plasma studies around Earth.

14 Apr 2023: After a decade of preparations, the ESA Juice spacecraft was succesfully launched, carrying our Radio, Plasma and Waves Instrument (RPWI) and other scientific instruments to investigate the icy moons of Jupiter, for arrival in 2031.

What we have in space

For the moment, we are responsible for or have significant contribution to the following instruments in space:
  • Juice -- ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer mission, launched in 2023 for arrival at Jupiter in 2031, for which we lead the Radio, Plasma and Waves Investigation.
  • Solar Orbiter -- ESAs mission to investigate the Sun at close distance, launched in February 10, 2020. We have provided parts of the RPW instrument to study the electric field in the solar wind close to its source.
  • BepiColombo -- an ESA-JAXA (Europe-Japan) mission to Mercury, where we are responsible for the electronics and probe surfaces for the MEFISTO sensors of the PWI instrument on the magnetospheric orbiter. Launched in October 2018 for arrival at Mercury 2026. More on Bepi and MEFISTO at KTH.
  • 4 x MMS -- NASA's Magnetospheric MultiScale mission, launched March 13, 2015, for which we provided sensor coating and test equipment for the electric field instruments built by the University of New Hampshire and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). More info on the SMART instrument suite for MMS at SwRI.
  • 3 x Swarm -- ESA's three satellites for study of the geomagnetic field, launched in November 22, 2013. We provide instruments to measure the plasma density and temperature in the Earth's ionosphere.
  • 4 x Cluster -- our instruments are exploring Earth's magnetosphere on a flotilla of four ESA spacecraft, launched summer 2000
  • Comet Interceptor -- ESA's mission to a comet so new that it may not have been discovered even when we launch in 2029! Together with LPC2E in Orléans and a larger European collaboration we provide instrumentation for investigating the comet plasma environment.
  • M-MATISSE -- the two-spacecraft Mars Magnetosphere ATmosphere Ionosphere and Space-weather SciencE mission ESA is preparing, in competition with two other missions for final selection in 2026. We are developing plasma instrumentation.
  • Plasma Observatory -- ESA's proposed seven-spacecraft mission for understanding of space plasma physics at multiple scales. Still in competition with two other missions for final selection in 2026. We are developing electric field instrumentation.
Our previous instruments in space, no longer operational:
  • Cassini -- launched by NASA in 1997, explored the environment of Saturn 2004-2017, with our Langmuir probe onboard.
  • Rosetta -- carried our instrument in orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, launched by ESA in 2004, impact landing on the comet 30 September 2016.
  • Smart-1 -- orbited the moon with our Langmuir probes onboard, launched September 2003, impact landing on the moon 3 September 2006
  • Astrid-2 -- the Swedish microsatellite (only 29 kg) carrying our LINDA instrument to the Earth's upper ionosphere 1998-1999
  • Freja -- detailed measurements of the Earth's upper ionosphere 1992-1996, including our wave investigations
  • Viking -- exploring the Earth's magnetosphere 1986-1987 by means of our wave instrument (and of course other instruments as well)
  • Numerous sounding rockets during the sixties, seventies, and eighties.

Who we are

Note: This section of the page is outdated an no longer properly maintained as of 2024.

For the latest updated information, please head over to our contact page at:

Senior scientific staff:
  • Mats André, PhD, professor -- PI Cluster EFW
  • David Andrews, PhD, docent -- scientist, M-Matisse lead
  • Jan Bergman, PhD -- scientist, Juice project manager
  • Stephan Buchert, PhD -- scientist, Swarm lead
  • Andrew Dimmock, PhD -- scientist
  • Niklas Edberg, PhD -- scientist, Comet Interceptor lead
  • Anders Eriksson, PhD -- scientist
  • Daniel Graham, PhD -- scientist
  • Yuri Khotyaintsev, PhD, professor -- head of research programme, Plasma Observatory lead
  • Vanina Lanabere, PhD -- postdoc
  • Cecilia Norgren, PhD -- scientist
  • Moa Persson, PhD -- postdoc
  • Sabrina Tigik, PhD -- postdoc
  • Erik Vigren, PhD, docent -- scientist
  • Jan-Erik Wahlund, PhD, docent -- Juice RPWI PI, Cassini RPWS-LP lead CoI, BepiColombo lead CoI
  • Emiliya Yordanova, PhD -- scientist
Engineers and computing support:
  • Ilona Benko, software engineer -- Juice
  • Martin Berglund, PhD, research engineer -- electronics
  • Vicki Cripps, research engineer -- PA/QA
  • Jesper Fredriksson, research engineer -- analog electronics
  • Reine Gill, research engineer -- flight s/w, s/c operations
  • Erik Johansson, PhD, research engineer -- data handling
  • Jan Karlsson, programmer -- data archiving and computer system manager
  • Björn Mårtensson, software engineer -- Juice
  • Thomas Nilsson, research engineer -- data handling
  • Dan Ohlsson, research engineer -- system engineer
  • Walter Puccio, senior research engineer -- electronics
  • Farid Shiva, engineer -- electronics design and manufacturing
Graduate students (see also our PhD projects page):
  • Jordi Boldu -- Solar Orbiter
  • Konstantin Kim -- Titan's ionosphere
  • Ahmad Lalti -- collisionless shocks
  • Louis Richard -- turbulence and plasma jet fronts
  • Ida Svenningsson -- Electron heating in turbulent space plasma
Project students See our student projects page):

What we do

We investigate what goes on in space using instruments we build ourselves and fly on spacecraft, ground based instruments, computer simulations and plasma theory. Here are some samples of our research:

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last modified on Wednesday, 05-Jun-2024 13:20:31 CEST
last modified on Wednesday, 05-Jun-2024 13:20:31 CEST