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- 06/06/2016

Deployment at 4,572 meters above sea level

Chimica Oggi-Chemistry Today

In an Indian observatory in the Himalayan mountains a Huber Unichiller maintains constant operating temperatures for measuring instruments on an astronomical telescope. The observatory is located on Mount Saraswati in the Western Himalayas, near the town of Hanle, and is operated by the Indian Institute for Astrophysics. At a height of 4,572 meters, it is one of the highest observatories in the world. The observatory has an optical 2m infrared telescope, the “Himalayan Chandra Telescope” (HCT), which is controlled remotely by the “Centre for Research and Education in Science and Technology” (CREST) near Bangalore through a dedicated satellite connection. To ensure that remote operation functions reliably, even in the winter and in the summer, a Huber Unichiller cools the instrument electronics to a consistent temperature. The constant operating temperature also prevents measurement errors caused by severely fluctuating exterior temperatures. Before installing the device in the Himalayas, a special testing chamber was built in order to simulate cooling under such extreme conditions. The low air pressure and extreme temperature fluctuations were the greatest technical challenges for the project. A Unichiller with heating was custom-built using the findings of the tests and simulations. The device is designed to function reliably even under the difficult climatic conditions.