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Faculty Funding Application and Visiting Scientists

The ESTEC Faculty has assigned funding from 'The Department' to aid science activities of its members.

A major part of this has been assigned to allow external scientists to visit and engage in collaboration with scientists within the ESTEC Faculty.

However, Faculty members are encouraged to submit proposals for funding of other science related activities.

Proposals are reviewed by the ESTEC Faculty council and also discussed at Faculty meetings.


Download and fill in the proposal form. Once completed email it to the ESTEC Faculty council (

>>>>>>>>>>> DOWNLOAD THE PROPOSAL FORM <<<<<<<<<<<<

If you have any questions about filling in the form, just ask members of the Faculty council

NOTE: This information must be submitted at least 5 weeks before the intended visit.

In the case of visiting scientists, visits should be for around a 2 week period, with coverage of airfare and per diem provided by the Faculty after the Faculty Executive has considered the Visitor Proposal application.

If you wish to propose a visitor, it is important to complete ALL of the application form. Missing information could lead to a delay or even rejection on the application.

It is MANDATORY for visitors to give a small seminar (20-30 min) on the subject he/she is working on with the ESTEC host.
The visitors host is responsible for organizing this seminar (finding a room, announcement to the Faculty, etc).
For any further questions regarding this, please contact a member of the Faculty council.

"We acknowledge support from the ESTEC Faculty Visiting Scientist Programme"


The following is a list of past (out of date) visitors





Proposed period

Dr. Carl Jakob Walcher COMPLETED

Torsten Boeker

Dr. Jakob Walcher is an expert in observational and theoretical studies of Nuclear
Star Clusters in the centres of late-type spiral galaxies. He is currently working with
Drs. Torsten Boeker and J. Falcon-Barroso on the kinematical impact of massive
nuclear clusters on the disks of their ost galaxies.
The purpose of the visit is twofold:

Stellar Populations and dynamics of Nuclear Clusters
On one hand we wish to combine the available UVES data Dr. Walcher has studied with the SAURON integral-field observations Dr. Falcon-Barroso has access to. The idea is to complete the analysis of these objects from the stellar population and dynamical point of view (to understand whether the clusters sit at the dynamical centre of the host galaxy)

A universal correlation between Compact Massive Objects and Host galaxy Mass
The second purpose of the visit is to complete the study of a recently claimed universal
correlation between Compact Massive Objects and Host galaxy Mass, for early-type
galaxies, with the inclusion of pure rotational systems (i.e. nuclear clusters in spiral galaxies).
Initial work on this subject has already been done (in the form of an observing proposal for
the VLT).

2 days October 2006 COMPLETED





Proposed period

Dr. Rachel Walcott COMPLETED

Tanja Zegers

Rachel Walcott is starting up a research theme on Martian landslide/glacial deposits, using modeling techniques developed for Earth landslides and glacial morphology. She will come to ESTEC to work on HRSC data from Mars Express from Hebes Chasma and Ophir Chasma. This will involve conversion of HRSC data to ArcGIS, DTM generation from HRSC stereo data and image analysis. The work will be done in collaboration with Tanja Zegers and Angelo Rossi.

1 week
January 2007 COMPLETED

Dr. Pavel Travnicek COMPLETED

Matt Taylor

During the visit we aim to draft a paper on plasma kinetic simulation code comparison with a large survey of Cluster ion data from the magnetosheath. Pavel has also been carrying out large scale simulation of the Hermitian system, so may have interests from the Bepi people.

10 days Jan/Feb 2007 COMPLETED

Dr. Kambiz Fathi COMPLETED

Jesus Falcon Barroso

The main goal of the visit is to complete the stellar populations analysis of the star-forming dwarf galaxy He2-10, for which integral-field spectroscopy (ARGUS/FLAMES) is available. Additionally, during this visit, we will draft a paper with the results, which are complementary to that of Marquart, Fathi et al. 2007.

26 Feb-2 March 2007 COMPLETED

Dr. Monica Pondrelli COMPLETED

Angelo Pio Rossi

Geological Mapping and study of the evolution of Holden-Eberswalde area (MARS) with MEX, MGS, Mars Odyssey data

15-20 April 2007 COMPLETED

Professor Arne Pedersen COMPLETED

Arnaud Masson

Accurate electron density estimation in low density plasmas is an issue for magnetospheric spacecraft in the Solar system. The purpose of the visit of Professor Arne Pedersen (Oslo University, Norway) is to work together on a draft article written by Arne Pedersen as first author and me as co-author. The theme of the paper is the calibration of spacecraft potential measurements as electron density on Cluster in low density, cold temperature regions such as polar cap or lobes, every year since 2001. This requires the cross-calibration of multiple experiments measuring this physical quantity such as PEACE (electrons), WHISPER (Waves) and CIS (ions) on top of EFW (spacecraft potential) experiments. The current draft misses some data analysis (case studies) of Cluster measurements from multiple experiments to be complete. The idea is to do the data analysis needed, discuss the results and finalise the paper. The second objective (time permitting) is to brainstorm on ways to model the calibration of the s/c potential measurements for plasmasheet type plasma (low density, hot plasma -keV electrons).

22nd-28th April 2007 COMPLETED

Adriana de Lorenzo-Caceres Rodriguez COMPLETED

Jesus Falcon Barroso

To work with Jesus Falcon Barroso on a project involving mapping the Stellar Dynamics and Stellar populations of barred Galaxies. This work will be carried out in conjunction with collaborative work carried out at Leiden Observatory over a period of 3 months, with one month at ESTEC


Dr. Mick Denton COMPLETED

Matt Taylor

Visit will focus on examining data mining techniques and data comparisons with LANL GEO satellite data and CAA data during time periods of strong /predominant northward IMF. Such conditions are thought to provide potential enhanced ring current under strong magnetospheric forcing.

11-15 June 2007 COMPLETED

Prof. Guglielmo M. Tino COMPLETED

Luigi Cacciapuoti

Prof. G. Tino is an expert in the field of ultracold atom physics and applications to the development of new quantum sensors, namely atomic interferometers and optical clocks, which are of interest for future space missions. The purpose of his visit twofold: 1. to study the potentialities of these devices and their applications for fundamental physics experiments in space; 2. to analyze recent data on the atom interferometry measurement of the Newtonian gravitational constant G.

5th -14th August 2007 COMPLETED

Dr. Nino PanagiaPOST-PONED

Guido De Marchi

Proposal is for general collaboration with members of Faculty, in particular to work on all aspects of stellar evolution and its interaction with the ISM. His most recent work covers topics such as the study of stellar populations in external galaxies, stellar winds and the evolution of high redshift supernovae (and important consequences on the current dark energy theory). The visitor will also give three or four seminars at ESTEC during the visit.

1 month 2nd half 2007 TBD POST-PONED

Dr. Jean Berchem COMPLETED

Philippe Escoubet

Global 3-D MHD (magneto-hydrodynamic) simulations coupled with in-situ measuements provide a powerful tool for investigating magnetospheric phenomena. Jean will work with Philippe examining cusp crossings by Cluster, in particular examining reconnection related phenomena. Recent event studies by Philippe have revealed complex particle distributions in the cusp, associated with interplanetary magnetic field rotations. Examining global models of the magnetosphere during these events will constrain the possible reconnection geometries at the magnetopause.

6 - 9 November 2007 COMPLETED

Dr Apostolos Christou COMPLETED

Jonathan Mc Auliffe

Apostolos Christou is a research astronomer at the Armagh Observatory, N. Ireland working on the physics and dynamics of the particulate population of the solar system as well as the dynamics of the outer planetary systems. The objective of this visit is to re-initiate a study-program on meteoroid penetration into the Martian atmosphere: what size and type of objects can survive to the surface and in what form, and what observable effects (with a view to future lander missions) might be produced.

12th-16th November 2007 COMPLETED

Dr. Frederic Pitout COMPLETED

Philippe Escoubet

Cluster is observing the polar cusp at mid-altitude with the spacecraft following each other like a string of pearl. We can then distinguish between temporal and spatial changes over time scale from a few minutes up to a few hours. Frederic will work with Philippe on special cusp where ions show an overlap in the energy dispersion. The goal is to understand their origin and their evolution by looking at distribution functions of ions and electrons on the four Cluster spacecraft.

27 - 30 November 2007 COMPLETED

Dr. Luigi Pulone COMPLETED

Guido De Marchi

Write paper on ongoing research on dynamical evolution of globular clusters. All data have already been reduced and analysed and the purpose of the visit is to complete the interpretation of the results and to write a refereed paper..

25 November -1 December 2007 COMPLETED

Dr. Reiner Friedel POST-PONED

Arne Asnes

Visit will be part of ongoing collaboration between the Los Alamos group and ESTEC Faculty members, in particular looking at Cluster PEACE and RAPID electron distributions in the magnetotail and their possible sources. The visit will also include development/discussion/planning of Cluster Active Archive plotting and data mining using the PaPco software environment and synergies with LANL data assimilation activities.

2 weeks 2nd half 2007 TBD POST-PONED





Proposed period

Dr. Rainer Arlt COMPLETED

Jonathan Mc Auliffe / Detlef Koschny

We have an ongoing collaboration with Rainer Arlt on the dissemination and analysis of optical meteor observations in the framework of the International Meteor Organization (IMO). He is involved in setting up the "Virtual Meteor Observatory" project, initiated by ESA/RSSD's Meteor Research Group.

15-19 January 2008 COMPLETED

Dr. Francesco Paresce COMPLETED

Guido De Marchi

Purpose of visit (i.e. description of the collaboration work): Francesco Paresce and I have been collaborating for a long time on a series of studies of the stellar initial mass function (IMF) in old globular clusters. We have now undertaken a more extensive project that aims at understanding how the IMF evolves with time. This study makes use of existing HST and ground/based data (of both young and old clusters) that are by now completely reduced. Our goal, during Francesco's visit, is to complete the analysis and write the review paper. On this project, we are also collaborating with Simon Portegies Zwart, from the University of Amsterdam, who is providing us with his models of dynamical evolution. He plans to visit us during Francesco's stay for further discussions (no financial coverage is needed for that). During his visit, Francesco will interact with the science faculty and, in particular, will give a talk or informal discussion on the scientific achievements of the VLT interferometer at ESO and/or on the scientific programme planned with the Wide Field Camera 3 (to be installed on Hubble in August) by the scientific investigation team, of which he a member.

14 April - 13 May 2008 COMPLETED

Dr. Glenn van de Ven COMPLETED

Jesus Falcon Barroso

Dr. van de Ven is an expert in the theoretical aspects of galaxy dynamics. At IAS in Princeton he works with Prof. Scott Tremaine (one of the best scientists in this field). The purpose of his visit is to study of the Fundamental Plane of early-type galaxies (one of the most important scaling relations that links photometry and dynamics of galaxies) based on integral-field observations for the ATLAS3D survey. Observations have been carried out and we expect the data to be available for analysis before the end of this year. Work on the theoretical aspects has already started and we plan to fully incorporate the observations during his visit here.

2 -13 June 2008 COMPLETED

Benoit Carry


Pierre Vernazza

Together with Benoit Carry, we plan to work on recently acquired Mid Infrared spectra (8-26 microns) for 3 large Main Belt asteroids (Ceres, Pallas, Iris). The purpose is to constrain their surface composition which has not been done yet. Combined with previous measurements (over the 0.4-4 micron range), this new data will allow us to look for diagnostic features that would provide crucial hints on the object's composition.

20-26th July 2008


Dr. Mick Denton


Matt Taylor

Following last years successful visit which examined the CAA Cluster ion and FGM data sets, (we have just seen the resultant paper published in Annales Geophysicae) we will extend this initial work to include other satellite data sets (in particular Double Star and LANL GEO, aiming to produce a further publication if not publications.

17-27 August 2008


Sami Dib


Jakob Walcher
Sami Dib is coming here to work with Jakob Walcher (research fellow) and Torsten Boeker on a project related to star formation in spiral galaxies. A long-standing problem in the simulation of star formation is the origin of turbulence in the molecular clouds that are the sites of star formation.
One of the competing theories is that the turbulence arises from differential
rotation (or shear). This scenario yields the simple prediction that the observed
molecular line widths should be related to the shape of the observed rotation curve. We want to set up a project that will test this prediction.
In particular, we need to check the literature for available data that could be used
for this project and, in the event that data is not sufficient, we need to prepare
observation proposals. It is important that Sami comes here, as his theoretical
knowledge in the area of turbulence in molecular clouds needs to be combined
with the observational expertise of Jakob Walcher on rotation curves and
of Torsten Boeker on molecular line emission.

27-31 October 2008


Dr. Luigi Palone
Guido De Marchi & Giacomo Beccari
Scientific collaboration on two papers related globular clusters. Guido is writing a paper with Luigi Pulone on how the tidal field of the Galaxy affects the dynamical evolution of globular star cluster, based on data both from HST and VLT. Giacomo is working with Luigi on the detection of white dwarf cooling sequences in globular clusters, usig deep photometric data taken with the LBT telescope. Both Giacono and Guido would benefit of this visit in that they could finalise the writing of one paper each. Luigi Pulone will give an informal seminar describing the results of the ongoing investigation.
24 November - 6 December 2008
Dr Emanuele Dalessandro
Giacomo Beccari & Guido De Marchi Scientific collaboration on globular clusters research. Giacomo and Emanuele are working on a long term project devoted to the study of exotic stellar populations (Blues Straggler Stars and Millisecond pulsars) in globular clusters through HST imaging and ground wide-field data. Moreover Giacomo is working with Emanuele on the detection of white dwarf cooling sequences in globular clusters, using deep photometric data taken with the LBT telescope. Giacomo would benefit of this visit in that he could finalise the writing of one paper and to prepare the materials for presentations planned on two international conferences he is going to attend in January 2009. Emanuele Dalessandro will also give an informal seminar describing the results of the ongoing investigation.
24 November - 6 December 2008
Dr. Nino Panagia Guido De Marchi Proposal is for general collaboration with members of Faculty, in particular to work on all aspects of stellar evolution and its interaction with the ISM. His most recent work covers topics such as the study of stellar populations in external galaxies, stellar winds and the evolution of high redshift supernovae (and important consequences on the current dark energy theory). The visitor will also give three or four seminars at ESTEC during the visit. TBD


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This page was first created on 1 October, 2008 and was last updated on 18 May, 2010.
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