Space-based instrumentation

Group Leaders: Roland Ottensamer and Franz Kerschbaum

Ariane 5 with space telescope Herschel on board

Ariane 5 with space telescope Herschel on board (Credit: Kerschbaum)

Space-based instrumentation

Space offers unique conditions for astronomical observations that have contributed significantly to the progress of astrophysical research in recent decades. Our instrumental involvement in the development and operation of space telescopes guarantees us privileged access to these now indispensable tools.

Research focus

  • Flight software: We in a sense provide the intelligence of cameras and measurement instruments used in space telescopes. We have made and continue to make important contributions to ESA's Herschel, Cheops, Smile, Plato, Ariel, Arrakihs, and Athena missions.

  • Ground-based software: There is also a lot to do on the ground during space missions: We supply data decompression systems, control command databases and algorithms for ground operations and data processing.
  • EGSE, tests, simulation: Space missions are subject to the highest safety standards. Simulation systems for all essential functions and processes as well as the systematic execution of tests are further important contributions.