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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.
Being a Research Center of the University of Liege, CSL is in direct contact with networks of various competencies, making it an efficient partner for a wide range of research and technology projects.
Being also deeply involved with industrial partnerships, CSL offers a set of various services for space industry but also for local and European industry, using the equipments and the know-how acquired for space activities. Ranging from pure R&D consultancy to customized development projects, or testing of equipments, CSL is your potential partner for a lot of applications.
CSL is also hosting academic researchers, with several PhDs, internships, trainings and associated students.

CSL Biennal Activity Report 2010 2011

CSL is located in the Liege Science Park, next to the University campus.

CSL Building


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, …
Besides the test activities, thanks to the Belgian participation to Prodex, CSL has been involved in the development of optical payloads. Starting with EIT/SOHO in the early '90s, CSL participated to the development of other world-leading instruments: FUV/IMAGE, OMC/INTERAL, OM/XMM-Newton, Secchi/STEREO, PACS/Herschel; UVS/JUNO, ...
Since the early 2000’s, CSL is developing technological applications derived from the know-how of space projects and tuned to industry needs or market needs. The start of these activities was funded by the Walloon Region. Today, CSL is offering many services and support for consultancy in a very wide field of applications, supported by regional, federal and European programs.

Current status

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:
- space testing for European Space Agency and space industry,
- optical instruments development,
- technological developments.

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.