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Ines Belgacem

Ines Belgacem, PhD student

Topic: Jupiter’s icy moons photometry


GEOPS - Géosciences Paris Sud
Bât. 509 - Bureau 003
Rue du Belvédère
91400 Orsay

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

LinkedIn / ResearchGate / Twitter

PhD thesis

Topic: Jupiter’s icy moons photometry

Time: 2016-2019


  • 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 : Planetary sciences, photometry, reflectance, image processing, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto


  • 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
  • 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’.

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.
  • 2013: Scientific outreach in a priority schooling area (ZEP) (1st year project)
    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.

Outreach activities

  • OSE l’ISAE - Volunteer since 2012 / Sponsor since 2016
    Association of ISAE aimed at promoting studies to higher levels in rural or socially disadvantaged areas. Promotion of equality regardless of social background or gender.
  • 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.
  • UniverSCiel - Volunteer
    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.

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


  • Samuel M. Clegg, Roger C. Wiens, Ryan Anderson, Olivier Forni, Jens Frydenvang, Jeremie Lasue, Agnes Cousin, Valérie Payré, Tommy Boucher, M. Darby Dyar, Scott M. McLennan, Richard V. Morris, Trevor G. Graff, Stanley A. Mertzman, Bethany L. Ehlmann, Ines Belgacem, Horton Newsom, Ben C. Clark, Noureddine Melikechi, Alissa Mezzacappa, Rhonda E. McInroy, Ronald Martinez, Patrick Gasda, Olivier Gasnault, Sylvestre Maurice,
    Recalibration of the Mars Science Laboratory ChemCam instrument with an expanded geochemical database, Spectrochimica Acta Part B Atomic Spectroscopy, 2017
  • Horton E. Newsom, Ines Belgacem, Kenneth S. Edgett, Roger C. Wiens, Jens Frydenvang, Steven G. Banham, Amy Williams, Beth Ha, G. Perrett, R. Gellert, O. Gasnault, S. Maurice, A. Cousin, Valerie Payré, C. Fabre, J. Schroeder, Fred Calef, William Rapin, J.A. Watkins, N. Stein, John P. Grotzinger, Juergen Schieber, R. Jackson, Z. Vaci, P. Gasda, N. Lanza, S. Clegg, S. Gupta, D. Blaney, R. Francis, Bethany L. Ehlmann, A. Yen, D. Rubin, N. Mangold, N. Bridges, J. Johnson, K. Lewis, Deirdra M. Fey, M. Fisk; L. Thompson, M. Schmidt, L. Kah, R. Kronyak, Ryan Anderson, K. Herkenhoff20, John Bridges; David Vaniman,
    Deposition and diagenesis at an erosional unconformity in the ancient Martian rock record between the Murray and Stimson formations at Marias Pass in Gale Crater, Mars, in preparation


  • I. Belgacem, F. Schmidt, G. Jonniaux, Towards photometry of Europa, European Planetary Science Conference, 2017, accepted.
  • 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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