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Initially funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and co-developed with ONERA, SPIS is the current European reference tool in spacecraft-plasma interactions modelling and is world-widely used today. Open-source, SPIS is maintained in the frame of the SPINE community, gathering more than 700 registered users around the world. Integrating a 3D electrostatic Particle-In-Cell (PIC) model on unstructured mesh, SPIS is able to model the detailed dynamics of the whole plasma sheath around the spacecraft and the electrostatic evolutions of this last one. SPIS is regularly used for commercial or scientific missions and in various fields like in plasma propulsion.

The complete modelling process of SPIS requires defining a complete 3D model from the CAD model construction and the modelled system definition to the post-processing and through the simulation control. In pre-processing, non-expert users should be able to attribute of all needed Initial and Boundary Conditions, perform the meshing of the computational domain and a set the simulation cores. The simulation kernels produce a large amount of data of various types, like times series, tabulated data, 2D/3D fields, to be analysed and visualised.

The recently released new version of SPIS (SPIS-GEO) has been fully redeveloped on the basis of the Keridwen as a complete Integrated Modelling Environment (IME). In the frame of this project, Keridwen has provided several generic components or bundles:

To these pre-existing bundles, a set of tailored modules have been especially developed:

  • SPIS-NUM integration bundle of the simulation kernel;
  • Dedicated interactive simulation control and monitoring bundle.
This approach has led to a highly-integrated application, providing all needed tools to perform the whole modelling process, and usable by non-experts as well advanced users. The possibility to run the IME in batch mode as well in interactive use opens the possibility to run SPIS on remote HPC computers. The OSGi and the modular approach strongly facilitate the interoperability of SPIS with other simulation software used in the space domain, like radiation models or simulation of the thermal behaviour. The mutualisation of a large part of pre and post-processing components has reduced the global maintenance cost for the SPINE community by sharing with other ones.

The whole developments related to the IME, the integration of tailored simulation kernels and other business declinations have been performed by ours Services.

The scheme here after shows an example of a complete modelling process being performed using Keridwen. A larger view is available here.

These capabilities make SPIS quickly adopted by the whole community and especially industrial users in the space industrie, like Astrium, OHB, Thales Alenia...

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Last edited by Julien Forest at May 15, 2013 7:23 PM - Edit content - View history - View source