CSL is among the world-leading institutes for space technology research and testing. Specialized in optics, most of the CSL activities are focussed on applications and payloads involving optical elements, detectors, metrology and space-testing equipments.
CSL is located in the Liege Science Park, next to the University campus.
Background and know how
CSL, previously known as “IAL Space", is born in the ‘60s within the Astrophysics department of the University of Liège. A group of researchers has been dedicated to observations from space, under the lead of Prof A. Monfils. The first experiments were developed with sounding rockets launched from Sardinia and North of Sweden for comet and auroral observations. Then IAL Space participated to the first scientific spacecraft of the European Space Agency, TD1. It has been launched in 1972 with a strong participation of IAL Space on the S2-68 telescope. These activities initiated the development of calibration facilities to test optical hardware under vacuum in thermal conditions. Then IAL Space participated to the testing and calibration of many ambitious scientific programs, such as GIOTTO, HIPARCOS, ISO, XMM-Newton, Herschel, Planck, …
Today CSL is a Research Centre of the University of Liege, employing 85 people. The scope of activities and researches of CSL is divided in 3 main fields:
CSL is working in collaboration with most of the European space industries and laboratories, including also US laboratories (Naval research Lab, SwRI; …).
CSL is also deeply involved in regional projects in the frame of the competitiveness clusters (SkyWin, MecaTech), and in European projects through EU programs.