Herschel satellite has functionned during 1446 days in space

Herschel telescope

(EADS Astrium: 2005-2006)
The Herschel/Planck scientific mission is the fourth cornerstone project in the European Space Agency (ESA) science « Horizon 2000 » plan.
The Herschel Space Observatory is the first example of a new generation of space telescope, covering the full far infrared and sub-millimeter waveband. Its telescope, with a primary mirror of 3,5m diameter, will be the largest one ever deployed in space. It will collect the light from distant objects such as newborn galaxies and focus it onto three cold detectors called HIFI, SPIRE and PACS.
CSL has been in charge to cool the complete Herschel telescope (3.5m diameter) to cryogenic temperatures for the optical quality measurement of the main components.
A thermal tent has been designed and optimized in order to bring the telescope to an overall temperature of 60K with a reduced heat load.


herscell 4a 

 img 3489a
HERSCHEL telecope in Focal 6.5 HERSCHEL telescope




Herschel PACS (1997 – 2009)

PACS is one of three science instruments for ESA‟s Herschel Space Observatory. It operates either as an imaging photometer or an integral field spectrometer over the spectral band from 57 to 210 μm. PACS is designed, built and operated by a consortium of institutes and university departments from across Europe under the leadership of Principal Investigator Albrecht Poglitsch located at Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany. Consortium members are: Austria: UVIE; Belgium: IMEC, KUL, CSL; France: CEA, OAMP; Germany: MPE, MPIA; Italy: IFSI, OAP/OAT, OAA/CAISMI, LENS, SISSA; Spain: IAC. The contributions of the CSL are the diffraction grating mechanism, the detector and mechanism controllers and the warm interconnecting harness. The Herschel observatory has been successfully launched with an Ariane 5 from Kourou on 14 May 2009. PACS is now performing routine operations until February/March 2013 when Herschel will run out of helium, precluding any further observing.


Pacs 1 Pacs 2 Pacs 3

PACS Grating Mechanism

PACS Detector & Mechanism Controller

(DEC/MEC) on CSL‟s shaker

Herschel launch from CSG

(14 May 2009)


See also Operating instruments in CSL IN SPACE


more on HERSCHEL ESA website

Contact(s) : Isabelle Tychon itychon@ulg.ac.be