Image credit: NASA, ESA

From mapping more than a billion stars in the Milky Way to capturing spectacular images of galaxies, Airbus Crisa-equipped space probes are providing new perspectives on the universe.

To accomplish these missions, spacecraft systems must operate in the most difficult environments, as they are subjected to conditions that include extreme temperatures and high levels of radiation.

Airbus Crisa electronics contribute significantly to these large space observatories as well as to planetary finder missions.




Stars Mapper

GAIA, the Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics, is an astronomical observatory mission of the European Space Agency. Its goal is to chart a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy of the Milky Way by surveying about 1% of the galaxy's 100 billion stars.

Airbus Crisa contribution:

For that purpose, Gaia instrumentation implements a huge focal plane (1 m by 0,4 m) composed of 106 CCDs (Charge Coupled Devices), the type of detectors usual in photo-cameras with around 1 billion pixels! Each CCD needs of an electronics in charge of the detector control and digitalisation of the picture elements, named PEM (Proximity Electronics Module) designed and developed by Airbus Crisa.

Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab


James Webb Telescope

Space Observatory

James Webb is the most accurate telescope ever launched to space. Its purpose is to study the origin of the first stars and galaxies when the Universe was only a few hundred million years old, detecting the weakest radiation from the most distant galaxies.

Airbus Crisa contribution:

Airbus Crisa has developed the Instrument Control Electronics and the processing software for the NiRSpec spectrograph, one of the four Webb instruments. Our electronics are responsible for commanding the optical block mechanisms to select and focus the stars and galaxies with unprecedented sensitivity.




CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) is an ESA’s scientific satellite launched in December 2019. It is the first mission devoted to study the mass, density and composition of extrasolar planets similar to Earth, with the aim of understanding these alien worlds and verifying whether some could support life.

Airbus Crisa contribution:

Airbus Crisa has played a key role in the successful development of CHEOPS, by providing core elements of the satellite, such as the Power Conditioning and Distribution Unit, the Remote Interface Unit or the On-Board Computer.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, K. Sahu (STScI) and the SWEEPS science team