Space Plasmas

Welcome on the web page of the ESPACE (Space Environments, Plasmas and Couplings) team!

Our research activities are directly connected to satellite missions that roam the heliosphere or fly around the Earth. We design, build and operate instruments that primarily measure electric and magnetic fields. Data from these instruments, together with model simulations, help us better understand the space environment and its properties.

The three main themes are :

  1. Couplings between the atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere
  2. Planetary plasmas
  3. Sun-Earth connections and space weather

With he different space missions in which we are involved we address questions such as:

  • How are the Earth’s atmosphere and the Earth’s ionized environment coupled? This will be addressed by the TARANIS mission (launch in 2020) for which the LPC2E acts as scientific coordinator and hosts the Science Mission Centre.
  • Are there predictors of earthquakes in the ionosphere? The DEMETER (2004-2010) mission has shed new light on that question.
  • How does the Earth’s magnetic environment interaction with the solar wind in three dimensions? Cluster (2000-2018) with its 4 satellites brought major advances in that field.
  • How does the Sun give rise to a solar wind that has a deep impact on the Earth and on other planets? The Solar Orbiter (2020) and Parker Solar Probe (2018) will investigate that question.
  • Plasmas of cometary environments, with Rosetta (2014-2016).
  • Plasmas in the environment of Mercury (BepiColombo, 2018), Jupiter, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa (JUICE, 2022).

We also regularly welcome Bachelor and Master students who come to Orléans for their internship. Do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested!

Contact LPC2E: Pierre Henri (

Team Presentation

Presentation of the ESPACE team


Sun - Earth Relations, Coupling, and Planetary Plasmas


Space missions, Ground based projects, Instrumental research, Other projects.

Tools & Collaborations

Dissemination, training and outreach

The ESPACE team is deeply involved in various dissemination activities such as teaching at the university, participating in various outreach activities, visiting schools, and more.