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Ines Belgacem

Ines Belgacem, PhD


GEOPS - Géosciences Paris Sud
Bât. 509 - Bureau 104
Rue du Belvédère
91400 Orsay

@ ines.belgacem@u-psud.fr
Tel: +33 1 69 15 61 51

LinkedIn / ResearchGate / Twitter

PhD thesis

Topic: Photometry of Jupiter’s icy moons

Time: 2016-2019 (Thesis defended on Nov, 15th 2019)


  • Advisor: Frédéric Schmidt (GEOPS, Orsay)
  • Co-advisor: Grégory Jonniaux (Airbus Defence & Space, Toulouse)


Study of Jupiter’s icy moons photometry and reflectance models

  • Identify relevant data and meta-data from past space missions (Voyager, Galileo, Cassini, New Horizons, ...)
  • Image processing / Data processing
  • Map projections to merge all data from then different images
  • Derive and test reflectance models
  • Photmetric study of the icy moons (maps)
  • Study of moons’ surface micro-texture
  • Feed the new models and maps to the navigation data base for ESA’s JUICE mission
  • Derive properties and evolution processes for Europa, Ganymede and Callisto

Keywords: photometry, reflectance, image processing, icy moons, bayesian inversion

Honors and awards: Amelia Earhart Fellowship (2081) - Zonta International

Projects & Internships

  • Apr./Sept. 2016: Study of physical matrix effects with the LIBS technique and application to Martian rocks and soil (internship)
    Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie(IRAP). Supervisor : Agnès Cousin.
    Study of the effects of the physical condition of samples (rock/powder) on LIBS measurements with the ChemCam instruments. Observations, data processing, laboratory measurements.
  • 2015/2015: Development of ground segement for nanosatellite EntrySat (3rd year project)
    Specifications of ground segment, defining detailed architecture and data handling strategy. Definition of operations scenarios, procedures, tests on different software. Development of parts of the software.
  • July/Aug. 2015: Data processing on the ChemCam instrument (internship)
    University of New Mexico (UNM), Albuquerque, USA. Supervisor: Horton Newsom
    Study of a contact area between two geological units on Mars. Other work on the consequences of the new calibration of the instrument on passed data.
  • Jan./June 2015: Health assessment of the ChemCam instrument and development of automated tool (internship)
    Centre Spatial d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Toulouse. Supervisor: Charles Yana
    Health assessment after two years of mission, monitoring of house-keepings and instrument alarms. Automation of a health report computed every three-months.
  • Sept./Dec. 2014: Performance assessment of the ChemCam instrument (internship)
    Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP), Toulouse. Supervisor: Olivier Gasnault.
    Assessment of pointing and image quality for ChemCam, instrument on board the Mars Rover Curiosity
  • 2013/2014: Developpement of the Sensor Board of nanosatellite EntrySat (2nd year project)
    Part of a bigger project aimed at realizing a nanosatellite (a 3U-cubesat) whose mission will be to test uncertified spatial material and do several measures in the high-atmosphere. Specification and design of the sensors acquisition board, preliminary choices of sensors.
  • Juillet 2013: Research work on gravity waves in the Sun (internship)
    Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP), Toulouse. Supervisor: Boris Dintrans.
    Research work carried out autonomously about theories of creation and development of internal gravity waves in the Sun. Computing tests to try and determine in which conditions these waves can exist.


  • Feb. 2018-Today. : Teaching assistant at ISAE-SUPAERO
    "Preliminary design of a micro satellite for Earth Observation" . 2nd year of Engineering Program + Masters in space science
  • Jan.-Jun 2019: Adviser for innovation and creativity project at ISAE-SUPAERO
    Supervision of a four student group working on an outreach project about the solar system for middle school students in a socially disadvantaged area


  • 2015/2016: Master of Science ASEP (Astrophysics, Space and Planetary Sciences
    Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse III / Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE-SUPAERO)
    Majors : Planetary Sciences, Accretion Phenomena, Magnetospheres & plasmas
  • 2012/2016: SUPAERO Master of Engineering, space major
    Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE-SUPAERO), Toulouse
    3rd year: Space sciences + Conception and Opération of Space Systems
    2nd year: nanosatellites major
    1st year: astrophysics major
    Honors and awards: ISAE-SUPAERO alumni award (2016), ISAE-SUPAERO Foundation merit scholarship (2015), Soroptimist leadership award (2015)
  • 2010/2012: Classes Préparatoires aux Grandes Ecoles - Physics & Chemistry (PCSI / PC*)
    Lycée Pierre de Fermat, Toulouse
    Undergraduate intensive program in Math, Physics and Chemistry preparing for the competitive entrance for French ’Grandes Ecoles’.


Scientific Community

Outreach activities

  • OSE l’ISAE - Volunteer since 2012 / Sponsor since 2016
    Program of the ISAE-SUPAERO Foundation aimed at promoting studies to higher levels in rural or socially disadvantaged areas. Promotion of equality regardless of social background or gender.
  • UniverSCiel - Communication and Community manager
    Scientific outreach about space and astronomy. The main activity is the organisation of the Astro-jeunes festival every summer at la Ferme des Etoiles in Fleurence (Gers, France). The organization is also involved in other scientific outreach events throughout the year.
  • Scientific outreach in a priority schooling area
    Bibliographic research and writing of a scientific report on the Solar System. Establishment of a new partnership with a priority school, design and animation of outreach activities for children between the ages of 9 and 10. 2012/2013

Women in STEM

  • Program "For Girls in Science" by the L’Oréal Foundation - Ambassador
    This is a unique program advocating for young girls to consider science as a future career path. It aims at informing beyond gender stereotypes and self-censorship. Ambassadors go to middle and high schools to meet with students (girls AND boys) and discuss these issues through their own experience.
  • Conferences and round tables

Past activities:

  • Supaerowing: organization of an international student rowing regatta in Toulouse counting 300 competitors. President of 2014 edition.
  • Boutique Supaero: organization, handling of orders and stocks for the students shop. President 2013 and 2014.

Publications and contributions

Peer-reviewed journals:

  • I. Belgacem, G. Jonniaux and F. Schmidt,
    Image processing for precise geometry determination, under review in Planetary and Space Science, 2019.
  • H. E. Newsom, K. S. Edgett, I. Belgacem, A. J. Williams, B. M. Ha, S. G. Banham, L. A. Scuderi, R. C. Wiens, F. J. Calef III, J. F. Schroeder, N. H. Thomas, N. T. Stein, S. M. Czarnecki, G. Perrett, J. Frydenvang; O. Gasnault, V. Payré, S. Maurice, P-Y Meslin, A. Cousin, J. Lasue, D. T. Vaniman, N. L. Lanza, S. M. Clegg, N. Mangold, L. LeDiet, D. Blaney, N. T. Bridge, J. R. Johnson, K. E. Herkenhoff, R. B. Anderson, J. Bridges, S. P. Schwenzer, P. Gasda, W. Rapin, R. Francis, C. Fabre, M. Nachon, F. Rivera-Hernandez, R. L. Tokar, B. C. Clark III, O. Forni, A. M. Ollila, J. Schieber, S. Gupta, D. M. Rubin, R. S. Jackson, Z. E. Gallegos, Z. Vaci, M. A. Nellessen, M. E. Hoffman, J. M. Williams, K. Escarcega, L. Kah, R. Kronyak, C. M. Fedo, R. Gellert, L. Thompson, M. E. Schmidt, C. Hardgrove, J. A. Watkins, J. P. Grotzinger, B. L. Ehlmann, A. Yen, Joy Crisp, K. Stack, H. E. Geng, W. Goetz, L. Edgarn D. Y. Sumner, K. W. Lewis, M. Fisk, E. Heydari, D. M. Fey, B. Sutter, A buried aeolian lag deposit and associated diagenesis at an erosional unconformity between the Murray and Stimson formations at Marias Pass in Gale Crater, Mars, in preparation
  • A. Lagain, S. Bouley, F. Costard, C. Marmo, O. Delaa, D. Baratoux, A. Pio Rossi, M. Minin, G. Benedix, M-A. Ciocco, B. Bedos, A. Guimpier, E. Dehouck, D. Loizeau, A. Bouquety, J. Zhao, A. Vialatte, M. Cormau, E. Le Conte des Floris, F. Schmidt, P. Thollot, J. Champion, M. Martinot, J. Gargani, P. Beck, J. Boisson, N. Paulien, A. Sejourné, K. Pasquon, N. Christoff, Ines Belgacem, F. Landais, B. Rousseau, L. Dupeyrat, M. Franco, F. Andrieu, B. Jabaud, V. Malarewicz, G. Beggiato, G. Janez, L. Elbaz, C. Ourliac, M. Catheline, M. Fries, A. Karamoko, J. Rodier, R. Sarian, A. Gillet, S. Girard, M. Pottier, S. Strauss, C. Chanon, P. Lavaud, A. Boutaric, M. Savourat, E. Garret, E. Leroy, M.-C. Geffray, L. Parquet, M. -A. Delagoutte, O. Gamblin,
    A new global Martian crater database: morphological information completed for craters smaller than 3 km in diameter, submitted to Planetary and Space Science.


  • H.E. Newsom, I. Belgacem, R. Jackson, B. Ha, Z. Vaci, R.C. Wiens, J. Frydenvang, P. Gasda, N. Lanza, S. Clegg, O. Gasnault, S. Maurice, A. Cousin, W. Rapin, O. Forni, S. Banham, S. Gupta, A. Williams, J. Grotzinger, D. Blaney, J. Schroeder, F. Calef, R. Francis, B. Ehlmann, A. Yen, N. Stein, J. Watkins, D. Rubin, N. Bridges, J. Johnson, K. Lewis, V. Payré, N. Mangold, K. Edgett, D. Fey, M. Fisk; R. Gellert, L. Thompson, M. Schmidt, G. Perrett, L. Kah, R. Kronyak, R. Anderson, K. Herkenhoff, J. Bridges, J. Hurowitz, J. Schieber, E. Heydari,
    The materials at an unconformity between the Murray and Stimson formations at Marias Pass, Gale Crater, Mars, 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 2016
  • S. M. Clegg, R. C. Wiens, R. Anderson, O. Forni, J. Frydenvang, J. Lasue, A. Cousin, V. Payré, T. Boucher, M. D. Dyar, S. M. McLennan, R. V. Morris, T. G. Graff, Sta A. Mertzman, B. L. Ehlmann, S. C. Bender, R. L. Tokar, I. Belgacem, H. E. Newsom, R. E. McInroy, R. Martinez, O. Gasnault, and S. Maurice,
    Recalibration of the Mars Science Laboratory ChemCam Instrument with an Expanded Geochemical Database, 8th Euro-Mediterranean Symposium on Laser-Induces Breakdown Spectroscopy, 2015

IDES Université Paris-Sud 11 CNRS Faculté des Sciences
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