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Our instrumentation group FANTAS-IAS (FAr-iNfrared To radio AstrophysicS InstrumentAtion for Space) is responsible for the technical developments of both the Cosmology and AMIS teams within the IAS. Our activities aim to conduct R&D programmes, to characterise and calibrate instruments for astrophysics, but also to conceive and develop new instruments in the THz - Radio frequency domain.


Research, development, and characterisation


Sub-K cryogenics

We have set up cryogenic test facilities and are also working on cryogenic research. We perform various measurements at very low temperature (material properties for instance) and are developing an Engineering Model (EM) of a CCDR (Closed Cycle Dilution Refrigerator), evolution of the Open Cycle Dilution Refrigerator that was used for Planck-HFI.


Optics / RF studies

Building on the expertise acquired during the development of the optical systems of previous projects, we are now studying new systems in the radio – submillimetre domain for projects such as LiteBIRD and BISOU.


Sub-Kelvin detectors characterisation

Our cryogenic system DRACuLA (Detector irRAdiation Cryogenic faciLity for Astrophysics) allow for the study of cosmic ray impact on highly sensitive detectors operating at very low temperature. To do so, we can irradiate detectors and focal planes (down to 20 mK typically) by coupling this facility with a particle accelerator.


Contributions to new projects

Members of our team are mainly working on two new projects in study phase.



This mission, under JAXA responsibility, aims at measuring the cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarisation with a much higher sensitivity than the Planck mission. Three instruments will be onboard: LFT (Low Frequency Telescope) and MHFT (Medium and High Frequency Telescope). The work on the MHFT, under the responsibility of a European consortium, is coordinated by CNES. IAS is highly involved on several technical contributions:

  • MHFT focal plane concept (and development when the mission will be accepted)
  • Coordination of the RF characterisation of the MFHT optical system
  • Coordination of the cosmic ray impact studies on MHFT detection system


In the past, the IAS having largely contributed to the success of two balloon-borne projects (PRONAOS and PILOT), now our team is leading an international collaboration to conduct a CNES phase 0 study. BISOU will be a stratospheric balloon spectrometer that will play the role of a precursor towards the detection of the CMB spectral distortions.


Contact : Bruno Maffei

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