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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

8 Nov 2022: We form part of the proposing teams for two of the five medium-class mission proposals ESA will study in detail for a decision next year, M-MATISSE for exploration of space around Mars and Plasma Observatory for detailed plasma studies around Earth.

27 Sep 2022: Katerina Stergiopoulou defended her PhD thesis on the induced magnetospheres and magnetotails of Mars and Venus at Uppsala University. Faculty opponent was professor Lasse Clausen, University of Oslo.

20 May 2022: A paper by Daniel Graham and co-authors showing how the electrical resistivity in a space plasma can be high despite the almost complete absence of particle collisions is now published by Nature Communications. More details in our press release.

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:

What we have in space

For the moment, we are responsible for or have significant contribution to the following instruments in space:
  • 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
  • JUICE -- ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer mission. Together with a large team of European, Japanese and American laboratories, we will provide instrumentation for investigating waves, fields and plasmas in the Jovian system. Launch 2022, arrival at Jupiter in 2030.
  • Comet Interceptor -- ESA's mission to a comet so new that it may not have been discovered even when we launch in 2028! Together with LPC2E in Orléans and a larger European collaboration we provide instrumentation for investigating the comet plasma environment.
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

Senior scientific staff:
  • Mats André, PhD, professor -- PI Cluster EFW
  • David Andrews, PhD, docent -- scientist (Cassini, Mars)
  • Jan Bergman, PhD -- scientist, JUICE RPWI project manager
  • Stephan Buchert, PhD -- scientist (Swarm)
  • Andrew Dimmock, PhD -- scientist (space weather, SolO)
  • Niklas Edberg, PhD -- scientist (Comet Interceptor, Cassini, Rosetta)
  • Anders Eriksson, PhD -- scientist (Rosetta, Cluster)
  • Daniel Graham, PhD -- scientist (Cluster, MMS)
  • Yuri Khotyaintsev, PhD, professor -- head of research programme
  • Vanina Lanabere, PhD -- postdoc
  • Michiko Morooka, PhD -- scientist (Cassini)
  • Luca Sorriso-Valvo, PhD -- guest scientist (MMS, SolO)
  • Erik Vigren, PhD, docent -- scientist (Cassini, Rosetta)
  • Jan-Erik Wahlund, PhD, docent -- JUICE RPWI PI, Cassini RPWS-LP lead CoI, BepiColombo lead CoI
  • Emiliya Yordanova, PhD -- scientist (MMS, SolO)
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
  • Joshua Dreyer -- Saturn's ionosphere (Cassini)
  • Konstantin Kim -- Titan's ionosphere (Cassini)
  • Ahmad Lalti -- collisionless shocks (MMS)
  • Louis Richard -- turbulence and plasma jet fronts (MMS)
  • Ida Svenningsson -- Electron heating in turbulent space plasma (MMS, Cluster)
Project students (see also our student projects page):

Sveriges flaggaPå svenska, tack
last modified on Thursday, 14-Sep-2023 11:58:44 CEST
last modified on Thursday, 14-Sep-2023 11:58:44 CEST