Header image

Technical Visits

On Wednesday afternoon, 2 October, two technical visits will be organised, to: 

  • The Observing Site of Côte d'Azur Observatory (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur or OCA)
  • Thales Alenia Space Cannes

Participants can sign up for the visits via the ESPC registration form. Both visits will be scheduled in the conference programme at the same time, so participants can attend one of them. For participants who will not be participating in one of the visits, a scientific session of an ESA Mission is planned in the conference centre.

Thales Alenia Space visit is free of charge, and it is limited to 150 persons. The visit to the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur is limited to 50 persons and a little cost is associated to it (Euro 20). In case of a cancellation of the OCA visit, due to few registrations or bad weather, the cost will be refunded. Please find below more information on the tours.

For both visits participants attendance will be granted on a first come, first served basis. Bus transportation to and from the visit locations, will be organised by the ESPC organisation.

The observing site of Côte d'Azur Observatory (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur or OCA)

Côte d'Azur Observatory is a center for research in Earth and Universe Sciences. It's 450 employees are located in 4 sites (Mont-Gros historical site, Valrose campus of UNS (University of Nice) à Nice, Sophia Antipolis and the observing site of « plateau de Calern »). OCA is one of the 25 French Observatories for Sciences of the Universe, in charge of the continuous and systematic collection of observational data on the Earth and the Universe.
Its goal is to explore, understand and value Earth and Universe Sciences, mainly in astrophysics and Earth sciences but also in related sciences, especially mechanics, signal processing and optics.

We offer you the opportunity to visit the observing site of « plateau de Calern » and to meet with the scientists working in this exceptional place.

Starting in the 1970s « plateau de Calern », located near Grasse, has been equipped with innovative instruments for laser telemetry and interferometry. Until the beginning of the 2000s, important work was carried out with the Schmidt telescope, especially for wide-field imaging of small objects.

Since 1988, Calern has been an observing site for the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur. Scientific studies extend projects based on acquired experience on solar physics and specific links between astronomy and geophysics. Moreover, new innovative projects involve university training for and by research scientists.

15:00              Bus departure from Palais des Congres d’Antibes
16:30-18:30    Visit of the site
18:30-20:00    Dinner buffet under the stars
20:00-21:30    Astronomical animations (Laser firing on the moon) and observations with amateur telescope
21:30              Bus departure from site
23:00              Arrival at Palais des Congres d’Antibes


The visit will consists in presentation of the scientific work and achievements, an outdoor  refreshment and an astronomical animations (show laser on the moon (MéO team) and observations with Astrospace Thalès Alenia Space astronomical observatory).

Thales Alenia Space 
Combining 40 years of experience and  a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, Thales Alenia Space architects design and deliver high technology solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. A Thales Alenia Space facility tour will be organised for the ESPC participants, combined with a refreshment offered by Thales Alenia Space.

During the visit, you will have the privilege to see mechanical workshop, production center for our satellites, integration room for telecommunication and scientific satellites, test facilities (vibrations, thermal vacuum chamber, acoustic chamber, Compact Antenna Test Range), and also our building dedicated to Solar Panel and mechanism manufacturing.

14:15             Bus departure from Palais des Congres d’Antibes
15:00-15:30   Arrival at Mercure and Security check
15:30-18:30   Visit of the site
18:30-20:00   Aperitif Cocktail at Mercure
20:00             Departure from site
20:45             Arrival at Palais des Congres d’Antibes 


   Website: https://www.thalesgroup.com