General Services at the MPE
Only the support of a highly motivated and qualified team of engineers, technicians and mechanics makes it possible to turn the visions and ideas of the MPE scientists for studying the universe into actual projects such as satellites or ground-based instruments.
The staff in the electromechanical workshop and development department work on international and interdiciplinary projects of space science, supporting the scientific staff in the realisation of their designs.
In close cooperation with the scientists, electronics staff and with industry, this department mainly develops and partly manufactures instruments for experimental astrophysics. A wide spectrum of tasks has to be dealt with reaching from precision instrument engineering over special purpose machines to extreme lightweight construction. In the education workshop of the institute up to 8 apprentices can be instructed.
The Administration supports the managing directors of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysik and the Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrische Physik in carrying out their executive duties. These activities also extend to the branches of the MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics in Neuried (test facilities) and in München-Neuperlach (semiconductor laboratory), as well as its guest house in Berkeley, California. The Administration's main areas of work involve the handling of personnel matters relating to its own staff as well as to junior researchers and foreign guest scientists, the procurement of scientific and other equipment, and the organization and maintenance of the institute's infrastructure. Additional core tasks include the planning and administration of institutional and third-party funds, along with the due processing of receipts and disbursements supplying proof of the correct usage of appropriated funds. In performing these functions, the Administration is required to comply with the laws, statutory instruments, legal provisions and guidelines applicable to the Max Planck Society and its institutes. In addition, the Administration advises the directors on the implementation of these rules and guidelines.
The Astro-Library is the joint library for the Max-Planck-Institutes for Astrophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics.
At present the library holds a unique collection of about 45 000 books and journals and about 7200 reports and observatory publications, as well as print subscriptions for about 200 journals and manages online subscriptions for about 400 periodicals. The MPA/MPE library catalogue includes books, conference proceedings, periodicals, doctoral dissertations, and habilitation theses, reports (print and online).
MPE Panter test facility
The MPE maintains the X-ray test facility PANTER to study and calibrate X-ray telescopes and detectors. Built from 1977 to 1980, originally the facility was used to characterise the ROSAT X-ray satellite and has been extended over the following years according to experiment requirements. Almost all X-ray experiments for astronomy have been tested at least in part in this facility.