Necessary means to develop and perform scientific experiments
CNES contributes to creating a favourable environment for spatial research laboratories to develop and perform their experiments by playing an active role every step of the way (R&D, proposal consolidation, technical support and expertise during development, as well as solutions for using, processing, and archiving data).
Among CNES’s fields of expertise, the most useful for this type of experiments is the study of methods and processes required to make instruments and components space-resistant. Several operations were required for the Venus-Express mission in order to analyse and fix operational anomalies encountered while testing the equipment in spatial environments.
Calibrating the instruments requires specialised laboratories and equipment in order to recreate spaceflight conditions; this expertise was acquired by taking part in several missions and R&T studies. It constitutes an important asset to develop the tools necessary to control instrument performance during an experiment. In the case of Venus-Express, IRAP (former CESR) calibrated the ion spectrometer and IAS calibrated VIRTIS.
CNES does its best to consolidate data processing and archiving needs in order to reduce scientific data-related costs.