The Experimental Astrophysics Laboratory

NIRPS Team members are shown in this photo with the chamber that contains the instrument’s cooling system. NIRPS is just one of a number of instruments that have been designed and constructed at the OMM’s Laboratoire d’astrophysique expérimentale (LAE). Credit: NIRPS Team

The Experimental Astrophysics Laboratory (LAE) at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory meets the technological challenges posed by the design of high-performance instruments for a better understanding of the Universe.

Recent technological developments are opening up exciting new possibilities in astronomy. With the increasing complexity of modern technology, astronomy needs to draw on the expertise and skills of a team of engineers, technicians, and technologists. The technological problems posed are often challenging for scientists and engineers alike, and provide the ideal training ground for students in applied physics and engineering.

The Experimental Astrophysics Laboratory has three main areas of activity: ground-based astronomy, space-based astronomy, and innovation projects. The OMM’s LAE leads the way in the design, development, and construction of astronomical equipment and opto-mechanical systems that do not exist commercially. The aim is to produce general-purpose instruments for use on university telescopes, national telescopes, international consortium telescopes, including future Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs), and space telescopes.