Scientific instruments

Providing the clearest view possible

Scientific instruments have become more complex than ever, in line with the dramatic advancements in technology over the past decade. Keeping ahead of these developments is what we do: developing, designing, and simulating complex, high-precision systems for space, industrial and manufacturing applications as well as international science missions.

Optical instrument integrating a lidar sensor, flown on board the RemoveDEBRIS space mission.

We have specialized in flexure structure technology for high-precision space and terrestrial applications, as well as time and frequency systems, for over thirty years. That’s why our solutions are used within prestigious space programs organized by NASA, ESA, and international observatories.

Research and Development in scientific instruments

Our solutions ensure you can achieve submicron resolution and measure key variables in any environment, no matter how harsh, including cryogenic and vacuum environments. Here are some examples of what we develop and manufacture:

High-precision mechanisms

  • Mechanism concepts that benefit from topological optimization (gain in mass and resonance frequencies tuning)
  • Advances in the metal manufacturing process and post-processing, relying on additive manufacturing
  • Friction-free flexure-based design, characterization, and integration of magnetic bearings to emit low levels of micro-vibrations
  • Our micro-vibration characterization facility enables quantifying vibrations, exported force and torque and their propagation in a system, at very low level, and over a large frequency range
  • Detailed analysis of mechatronic systems using analytical approaches and finite element simulation (FEM) software (COMSOL Multiphysics)
  • Advanced control methods for demanding stability requirements and multi-variables systems, as well as on-line and off-line identification methods for systems with changing dynamics


  • Compliant mechanisms are selected for their unique advantages including absence of friction and wear, unsurpassed precision, extreme repeatability and reliability
  • Flexure expertise combined with know-how in MEMS technology lead to FlexMEMs to overcome the increasing challenges of the rising ambitions of scientific instruments
  • Focused on the simulation and design of novel mechanical resonators and escapement mechanisms compliant with the thermal and shock environment of modern high-quality watches and timepieces 

  • Miniature flash imaging lidars, originally developed for space applications (rendezvous, landing, debris removal), have been extended to terrestrial applications such as bathymetry
  • Frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) for rapid distance measurements with sub-millimeter resolution, with potential for miniaturization and cost-reduction


  • Our competencies span across the entire laser technology spectrum: ultra-stable laser continuous wave and femtosecond laser sources, high-power laser systems, modelling of laser physics, optical system design and laser electronics
  • Enabling technology for many purposes, lasers are implemented or developed for systems capable of performing the most sensitive measurements like detection of gravitational waves or in industrial settings
NASA's prototype laser aiming to detect past gravitational waves.

Want to get involved?

Our long-term investment in instrumentation helps meet the evolving demands of astrophysics, space exploration, space-based systems, watchmaking, metrology, and industrial instrumentation. By mastering and combining multiple disciplines in a systemic approach, we are paving the way towards a wide range of new space, watchmaking, industrial and medical instruments.

Contact us now!

Get in touch to find out how you can get more out of your measurements today.

Meet our happy customers

Logo ESA - European Space Agency

Scott Hovland

ISS Programme & Exploration Department, ESTEC, Directorate of Human Spaceflight and Operations

The spirit of collaboration that CSEM has shown has been excellent and I would specifically like to commend the center.

Logo Ruag

Marie-Thérèse Ivorra

Site General Manager, Nyon

RUAG Aerospace has come to fully appreciate CSEM's experience and high level of competence in the design and simulation of high-precision space mechanisms integrating flexible structures.

Logo Witschi Electronic

Daniel Hug

CTO and Vice-President

The project was conducted with a very constructive attitude. Continuous and strong communication was always present and was a key success parameter. Measos [project which leads to WisioScope S] is considered as an example for future projects.


Ian McLean

Distinguished Professor/Director, Department of Physics & Astronomy

CSEM is by far the best company we have worked with in the past 20 years. We not only recommend them without reservation.

Logo Thales

Jean-Philippe Chambelland

Procurement Manager

We have a very positive experience of working with CSEM for the European Space Agency, which is why we wanted it to develop the corner cube mechanism, a key element of our interferometer, for MTG’s new kind of meteorological instrument.

Logo Space-X
Space Exploration Institute

Jean-Luc Josset

CLUPI Principal Investigator

CSEM has many years of knowledge and experience in designing moving mechanisms that perform reliably, frictionlessly, and with a precision of a few micrometers, which is a key performance characteristic of the instrument. Thanks to this know-how, the CLUPI has the potential to discover past life on Mars.

Logo Orolia

Serge Grop

R&D Program Manager

CSEM and Orolia Switzerland have had a long and successful partnership. Our ongoing project with CSEM is the development of a Chip Scale Rubidium Oscillator to complete Orolia's mRO-50™ product line. Thanks to CSEM's MEMS expertise and micromachining facilities, Orolia Switzerland will now be able to access new types of markets and provide our clients with affordable and reliable components based on the latest technologies.

Logo Clearspace Today

Luc Piguet

CEO and Co-Founder

In our effort to make space sustainable, CSEM is a strong ally, offering years of experience in the space application field. Currently, in the framework of the ClearSpace-1 Service, our team has very different projects in robotics and navigation with CSEM. Their expertise, pragmatism and diligence allow us to advance ClearSpace's cutting-edge in orbit servicing.

Logo Armin Strom

Claude Greisler


Thanks to the support of CSEM, we succeeded in optimizing the coupling of two independent oscillators. A milestone in the history of watchmaking.