Technical Section

Comprised of 14 staff members, the technical division fulfills the instrumentation requirements for astronomical research.



With the implementation of the technology building Schwarzschildhaus (Left) in March of 2000, the AIP gained the capability to contribute to the development of earth-based telescopes, focal instruments and space observatories.


In 2010, an additional technology building, Leibnizhaus (Below), was added to the institute, housing an optics lab, mainframe computer, integration hall and a cooling chamber capable of reaching -80°C.


PMAS was the first instrument to be developed entirely at the AIP and is now the most used instrument on the 3.5 m telescope in Calar Alto, Spain. The AIP has also completed and put into service the solar telescope GREGOR and the AGW units for the  Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona. Furthermore, equipment from the AIP has been delivered to its partners for the projects MUSE and eRosita.

Current projects include the Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instruments for the LBT (PEPSI), VIRUS, ARGOSSTIX and 4MOST. In addition to these are the 1.2 m Telescopes STELLA-I and STELLA-II.


The Schwarzschildhaus offers the following:

  • a workshop fitted with modern machinery and
    complete with assembly hall and warehouse
  • a design office with three CAD workstations
  • a measuring machine
  • an electronics lab comprised of three rooms
  • the Detector lab
  • a class IV clean room
  • an optical laboratory which is subdivided into three rooms via rolling doors
  • a Farady cabin for interference-free analysis of detector systems
  • a two sector integration hall which includes a telescope simulator used to test the behavior of instruments under the conditions of a telescope.


Modern CAD workstations for the development of optical systems, circuit design of the electronic sector and mechanical construction allow for high efficiency among a small staff.

The fine mechanics workshop, which is comprised of 4 staff members and coordinates its own apprenticeship program, possesses highly advanced lathe and milling machinery (5-axis milling).


In addition to the maintenance of the instruments currently in operation, the technical division is tasked with the upkeep of historical instruments (the Great Refractor Potsdam, Telegrafenberg).


PHOTO GALLERY of the technical division's work



Head: Dr. Hakan Önel

Vice-Head: Svend-Marian Bauer

Head of the Mechanical Workshop: Jens Paschke