Calern Observing Site (CALERN)
Core Data
Hosting Legal Entity
Self-standing RI
Legal Status
University or higher education institution
Site de Calern - 2130 route de l'observatoire -Caussols, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, ST Vallier de Thiey, PO: 06460, Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur (France)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
Current Status:
Operational since 1974
Scientific Description
Mission and objectives
The Calern observing site of OCA (Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Nice - Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) is located at Calern (1260m) within 1h car distance from the international airport of Nice. It is supported by OCA’s service structures that include local mechanics and optics shops, technical staff maintenance on instruments, local computer support for operating facilites at 100Mb/s (to reach 1Gb/s in the future), in relation with external networking and access to OCA’s HPC mainframe in Nice. The facility can host up to 20 persons at the guest house. Five major infrastructures are operationnal and can be opened for collaborative programmes including R&D for scientific and technological innovations. All instruments are operated with OCA’s service support from scientists ands engineers located in OCA-Nice and supported by OCA’s own budget and additionnal programmes from CNES, INSU-CNRS and local authority financial support.

RI Keywords
Near-earth-objects like asteroids (NEO), Laser-ranging, Space-weathering, Adaptive optics, Space debris, IR high contrast imaging, Remote observations, Solar activity
RI Category
Solid Earth Observatories, including Seismological Monitoring Stations
Earth Observation satellites
Scientific Domain
Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics and Mathematics
ESFRI Domain
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Long term variablity of the solar activity and turbulence monitoring
Space debris surveys

geostationnary and low orbit satellites.

Educational programmes

at BsC, MsC and PhD levels and European networking in astronomy and geosciences.

Time-frequency transfer by ground-to-satellite optical link synchronized experiments
Visbile and IR imaging

using passive diffraction limited techniques of solar system planets and adaptive optics R&D.

Permament sismographic station

integrated in the global network of the RESIF broadband sismometry.

Two 1m optical telescopes

with versatile focal instruments with and field photopoalrimetric CCD imging, EMCCD 1kx1k diffraction limited imaging, a prototype of large-field adaptive optics for high contrast imaging in the IR (up to the H 1.6µ band).

1 .5m optical alt-az telescope

for lunar and satellite laser-ranging (fast tracking mount), with secondary instrumentations : e.g. adaptive optics for imaging in the visible of low orbit satellites and space-debris survey programs in addition to time-frequency ground-space synchronization.

10cm solar telescope

for the long term (since 35 years) solar variability follow-up and simultaneous atmospheric turbulence monitoring applicable to space-weathering programs.

Agile fully automated large field imaging 20cm telescope

for remote observations of transcient events (astronomical gamma bursts, space debris, NEO asteroids, etc..).