Pic du Midi
The technical platform of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre observatory provides the OMP research teams with technical and logistics support. It overviews the observations and practical work sessions for higher education carried out on the site. Current experiments span the whole field of the sciences of the Universe with 6 telescope domes operating for 2 observation services (TBL, T1m, T60, LJR, Solar corona, space meteorology) and twelve laboratory experiments for OMP and other French and international labs. The Pic is one of the two homesites of the P2OA (Plateforme pyrénéenne d’Observation atmosphérique). The staff comprises 20 experts in electronics, electrotechnics and mechanics.
Space instrumentation service
IRAP (Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie) provides space programs with a set of technical rooms and high-level devices for the development, integration and calibration of instruments designed to be embarked aboard space-based observatories or missions exploring the Earth’s environment and the Solar system. This platform supports the fast-growing space activities of IRAP, which call for the development of new sensors and their calibration in vacuum chambers under radiation of charged particles and/or photons. The increasing miniaturization of electronic components and the need for flawless sensors command the use of clean rooms to avoid biological contamination, thus protecting the target planets.
Ground instrumentation service
A set of technical rooms and high-level implements allows ground-based programs to develop, integrate and calibrate instruments designed for large telescopes such as TBL, CFHT and ESO.
The Télescope Bernard Lyot
Built on the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, the 2-m TBL produces night-time data for French and European professional astronomers, with instruments at the cutting edge of high-resolution spectropolarimetry. It stands out as an internationally pioneering site for research on stellar magnetism and the birth and life of stars and their planets. Its staff comprises 15 experts in electronics, electrotechnics, optomechanics, cryogenics, embarked systems and astronomical observation. Operated in full-service mode, it complies with thorough quality control at all the stages of the observation process.
P2OA (Plateforme pyrénéenne d’Observations atmosphériques)
OMP operates two sites devoted to the study of the atmosphere through observation and experimentation: the CRA (Centre de Recherches atmosphériques) near Lannemezan – 70 ha (173 ac) of land, 588 m above sea-level – and the Pic du Midi – 28 km from the CRA at 2,877 m (9,438 ft) altitude. With their staff of scientists and technicians, as well as their extensive infrastructures and facilities, these two sites have been home to observations in meteorology, atmospheric chemistry and electricity for several decades.
LAFARA (Laboratoire de Mesure des Faibles Radioactivités)
Located at Ferrières in the Pyrénées (about 100 km from Toulouse), this is an underground laboratory, where two gamma spectrometers are shielded from cosmic rays by a 85-m-thick layer of rock. The resulting background noise is particularly low, so that the very feeble radioactivity of the samples can be detected.
CORSiCA (Centre d'Observation régional pour la Surveillance du Climat et de l'Environnement atmosphérique et océanographique en Méditerranée occidentale)
The aim of this project is to develop a multisite instrumental platform for atmospheric and oceanographic measurements in Corsica, within the larger framework of the "Chantier Méditerranée" MISTRALS (Mediterranean Integrated Studies at Regional and Local Scales, http://www.mistrals-home.org/), and more specifically the HyMeX and ChArMEx programs.
PMFE (Plateforme de Mécanique des Fluides environnementale)
This is a platform for experimentation on the flows which occur in a great variety of environmental issues (whether in drainage basins, rivers, coasts, oceans, or the atmosphere), and their interactions with the living environment. The three laboratories (two of which are air-conditioned) cover a combined floor area of more than 1,000 m2, with underground tanks for storage, preparation and circulation.