UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics


Optical Calibration Facility

The calibration facilities provide: Low Energy Plasma (electron and ion) & Optical (wide ranging capability for low temperature optical/radiometric calibration).

The MSSL Optical calibration facility is a newly commissioned system to accomodate larger instruments and payloads.  


The vacuum chamber consists of an outer stainless steel chamber with a thermal shroud mounted inside the chamber. A heating and cooling platen (or cold bench) is mounted within the thermal shroud which extends the thermal range capabilities of the facility.The facility has an extensive array of ports to allow the attachment of calibrated black bodies and optical beam inputs. The chamber specification is listed below.


Chamber dimensions: 2m diameter by 2.1m long

Cold bench dimensions: 1.2m wide by 2.0m long

Base vacuum pressure: 5 x 10-6 mBar

Temperature range (shroud): -80o C to +100o C

Temperature range (cold bench): -180o C to +100o C.

Temperature control: Closed loop PID control, +0.5o C -0.5o C.

Temperature measurement: 3 wire 1/10 DIN PT100 sensors, 16 sensors available with the ability to add up to a maximum of 32 additional sensors.

Temperature and pressure logging: 16 channel plus pressure logging, user set logging interval.

Electrical feedthroughs: Various D-Sub connectos and high voltage connectors.

Facility Status

Nominal, currently undergoing blank testing for EarthCare MSI radiometric test campaign