Credit : ESO & B. Lazareff (IPAG)

Research in astrophysics and space science relies on state-of-the-art instrumentation, pushing back the boundaries of feasibility. How can new instrumental concepts address current scientific questions and open up discovery space ? What technologies and methods need to be mastered and deployed to bring about these new instruments ?

Research topics

CRISTAL (an acronym standing for concepts, instrumental research, data analysis, algorithms) is a transverse team that collates the IPAG expertise in instrumentation to research, develop and bring new technologies to observations. The team initiates and benefits from the technological advances of its industry partners, with applications going well beyond astronomy.

Observations in astronomy and planetary sciences require highly specific instrumentation that is not available off-the-shelf. Instrument development must be tightly connected to the identified scientific goals. Research labs identify, select, test new instrument concepts using the latest technologies to enable major advances in performance and open up discovery space.

The activity of the team covers high angular resolution in visible-IR, high contrast interferometry, radar sounding of planetary surfaces and structures, imaging spectrometry, high resolution mass spectrometry. Our activity has led us to develop successfully several instruments for the community such as CONSERT/ROSETTA, PIONIER/VLTI, etc. Our expertise is also valued beyond astronomy through the startups we helped initiate (Alpao, RSS, FLI).


Astronomical instrumentation, methods and techniques ; adaptive optics ; detectors ; high angular resolution ; interferometers ; spectrographs ; image processing ; imaging spectroscopy ; radar astronomy ; telescopes


- Team leader : Jean-Philippe Berger
- Email : jean-philippe.berger (at)
- Telephone : 04 76 63 57 99 (from abroad +33 04 76 63 57 99