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EUROPLANET. European Planetology Network. A network of the EU in support to the strengthening of planetary sciences in Europe M. Blanc, M. Dougherty, J.-P. Lebreton, E. Flamini,

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European Planetology Network

A network of the EU in support to the strengthening of planetary sciences in Europe

M. Blanc, M. Dougherty, J.-P. Lebreton, E. Flamini,

C. Guidice, I. Muller-Wodarg, O. Witasse, G. Chanteur, O. Dutuit, F. Ferri, B. Kazeminejad, N. Krupp, H. Matti, S. Miller, H. Rucker, R. Srama, K. Szego, J. Zarnecki.

Origin of the project

  • Cassini/Huygens is a joint mission of ESA and NASA to the Saturn world and to Titan, involving the two Agencies, industrials and over 200 scientists from the two sides of the Atlantic

  • The European participants want to maximize the scientific return of the mission, and to take this opportunity to strengthen for the long term the European planetary science community

  • With the EC support Europlanet seeks to :

    • Bring additional resources

    • Involve a broader community in the mission

    • Develop tools and collaborations for all other missions

Key figures

  • FP6 “Structuring the ERA” - Research Infrastructures Action: Coordination Action

  • Project duration: 48 months

  • Budget: 2 M€

  • - Number of labs involved: 60

  • - Number of participants: 40

  • 17 countries represented

  • The EC contribution will: - set-up the network

  • stimulate exchanges and joint research activities

  • But not fund research internal to participants.


Integrated Distributed Information Service

Laboratory Measurements




ESAPlanetary Missions

Esa planetary missions
ESA Planetary missions

FP7 Extension ?

+ NASA-led missions with some European participation (MSL, Dawn, …)

Mars mercury comets giant planets
Mars, Mercury, comets, giant planets…

Our main goals are to
Our main goals are to…

  • Gather a broad multi-disciplinary community of scientists

  • Develop the tools for the optimal analysis of all available data (IDIS)

  • Amplify the synergies between ground-based facilities and space missions, in close collaboration with the other Infrastructure networks of the EC (Opticon, RadioNet,…)

  • Convene a regular major European planetary science meeting

  • Associate the public to planetary science and contribute to its use for education

  • Stimulate the development of key technologies for planetary exploration ?


Technische Univ. München

Institüt für WeltraumforschungAustrian Academy of Sciences


International Research School of Planetary Sciences

Prague Observatory

Royal Observatory Blegium

AstronomicalInstitute of the Romanian Academy

En route to the planets !

Vienna, Austrian Academy of Sciences, 24 April 2005

Web site


  • France:OMP, LAM, LPPM, LCP, Obs. Paris, LISA, Rennes Univ., IAS, LPG, LURE, LPCE, LPGN, CNES...

  • U.K.:Open Univ., U. Leicester, Oxford Univ., MSSL, Imperial, U. Liverpool, UCL, CCLRC

  • Germany:DLR Braunschweig, IPG Wirtzberg, IfP Muenster, MPI Lindau, MPI Heidelberg, TUM Munchen, IfP Postdam

  • Austria:IWF Graz

  • Greece:ERL Heraklion

  • Romania:AIRA, Bucharest

  • Italy:ASI, U. Trento, CISAS Padova, UNIPG Perugia, IASF Roma, Upa Napoli, IRSPS Pescara, IFSI Roma,

  • Portugal:IST-UTL Lisboa, U. Porto

  • Finland:FMI Helsinki

  • Sweden:IRF Uppsala

  • Belgium:Royal Obs. Belgium

  • Spain:IAA Granada

  • Switzerland:Univ. Basel

  • Hungary:KFKI-RMKI

  • Netherlands:JIVE

  • Poland:SRC, IPC-PAS

  • Czech Rep.:Prague Obs.

  • ESA

Associated Participants

  • United States:GSFC, JPL, JHU/APL, LASP, LPL Tucson, SPRL, SSI Boulder, SwRI San Antonio, Univ. Iowa.

  • Belgium:IAG-Univ. Liège

  • Italy:INAF-OAC

Scheme for the distribution of funding to participants

Co-ordinator (CNRS-DR14)















Budget by Activity


Funds received as a function of the participation to the different activities

N2: Discipline Working Groups

  • Establish « Discipline Working Groups » in the different scientific areas to cover all major fields of Planetary Sciences.

  • Anticipate future research areas in Planetology.

Discipline Working Groups

planetary atmospheres,

ionospheres and exospheres

planetary and solar system formation

evolution and variability

planetary interior and composition

small bodies and dust

planetary magnetospheres

and plasmas

planetary moons


surface science

exoplanet science

N2: Discipline Working Groups

Step 1 : DWGs linked to the Cassini/Huygens mission.

N3: Coord. Earth based & space observations

  • Develop synergies between the in-situ exploration of Saturn and Titan, ground and earth-orbit observations.

  • Establish a global observation strategy (including access to telescopes).

  • Exchange and jointly analyse the data obtained.

N4: Outreach

  • Identify EuroPlaNet as a contact point for Planetary Sciences in Europe.

  • Develop science communication on planetary observation and exploration programmes for European citizens, especially children and young people.

N5: Personnel exchanges

  • Fund short-term exchanges of personnel in support to joint research projects.

  • Foster long-term cooperations.

N6: Meetings

  • Organise EuroPlaNet General Assemblies.

  • Work for the creation of major Planetary Sciences meeting in Europe (starting in 2006) in collaboration with Planetary and Spaces sciences societies.

  • Organise dedicated science workshops .


  • Coordinate preliminary studies for the implementation of IDIS (Integrated and Distributed Information Service).

  • Coordinate the prospect of the future development of a European planetary virtual observatory (7th FP).

N7: Preparation of IDIS

Six building bricks

1 -Earth-based observations, including both ground and space telescopes

in all spectral domains

2 -Space missions (remote or in situobservations)

3 -Planetary simulators: physical concepts and numerical simulations

4 -Laboratory experiments(fundamental processes of interest, inclusively)

5 -Databases and information systemsdedicated to given sub-fields

6 -Public outreach effort and education products

The golden triangle of success
The « Golden triangle »of success

Space Agencies


National Agencies

Space Industries


6 key activities

  • N2: Discipline working groups

  • N3: Coordination of Earth based & space observations

  • N4: Outreach

  • N5: Personnel exchanges

  • N6: Meetings

  • N7: Integrated and Distributed Information Service