The National Space Institute has contributed to the Planck reflector system by ensuring that the system can endure very low temperatures. The NSI also cooperates with the German manufacturer of the reflectors about the ongoing development of the system.
The NSI has received support from SNF and ESA for the provision of the Planck reflector system. The NSI has thus made an agreement with ESA assuring full access for Danish astrophysicists to the Planck database. To fully exploit these scientific possibilities, in 1998 the NSI formed a consortium called DK-Planck together with Niels Bohr Institute and the Theoretical Astrophysics Center. Danish astronomers are involved in mission preparations in all scientific areas related to Planck.
With an increase in sensitivity of more than an order of magnitude compared to previous missions, the ESA Planck mission will provide information about the fundamental cosmological constants (e.g. the Hubble expansion constant, the density of baryonic matter and the total density of matter in the Universe) with unprecedented precision.
Furthermore, unique information will be gained about the dominant physical processes in the early Universe. The NSI has participated in the preparation of the Planck mission since the very beginning. Planck is a Principal Investigator mission, implying that only the groups delivering the scientific instruments will have full access to the Planck database.
Hans Ulrik Nørgaard Nielsen
Carol Anne Oxborrow