The two scientific satellites Herschel and Planck are devoted to exploring the Universe. Air Liquide has provided innovative solutions, essential for achieving their missions.
To solve the mystery of the origins of the Universe, the most ancient and hence coldest parts of the Universe must be explored.
Planck will be observing the Universe as it was more than 13 billion years ago, thanks to radiation emitted about 380,000 years after the Big-Bang that is still traveling through space. As for Herschel, it will be observing the formation of stars in the far infrared.
In order to obtain highly accurate data, the measuring instruments onboard must be even colder than the zone to be analyzed. Temperatures must be reached of the order of a few tenths of degrees from absolute zero, -273°C.
This is a real technological challenge, all the more so as the instruments and their cooling devices are designed to be used in space.
Air Liquide has developed innovative technologies at the heart of these two scientific satellites and has succeeded in meeting the challenges raised by the extreme conditions. The cooling systems developed are used to maintain the measuring instruments at a very low, stable temperature, thus ensuring the quality of the measurements.