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Advanced Technologies for telescopes on Earth and in space

The group working in the "Advanced Technologies for space and ground-based telescopes" began its activity in the early 1990s under the guidance of Oberto Citterio.
Among the most relevant activities, the Nickel electroforming technology was consolidated and applied for the creation of monolithic grazing mirrors for astronomy in X-rays, continuing the activities previously started at the IFCTR/CNR Institute in Milan (later merged into INAF as IASF-Milan) and with which the X Ray mirrors of the optical module on board the Beppo-SAX satellite had been produced.
This technology, thanks to the activities carried out at the Brera Observatory and the collaboration with the Media Lario industry, was applied with great success for the X-ray optical modules of the XMM (ESA) and SWIFT (NASAASI-PPARC) telescopes.

The research activity of the group is divided into the following branches:

  • Nickel Electroforming Replica technology and weight optimized for the new generation of telescopes with multilayer reflective coating for focusing in the Hard X-ray band (10-100 keV), such as the eXTP satellite (CAS);
  • "Glass Shaping" technology, by "Hot Slumping" (for adaptive secondary mirrors) and "Cold Slumping" (for X-ray mirrors with high effective area);
  • "Ion Beam Figuring" technology for high precision optical mirrors and for wavefront correction;
  • X-ray calibration facility in view of the ATHENA mission (BEaTriX, VERTEX);
  • Development of thin glass shells with direct polishing and other materials for future space missions (eg Lynx);
  • Ground-level gamma-ray telescopes with Cherenkov technique, with particular reference to the ASTRI and CTA telescopes.

The research activity consists in the development of basic technologies, which starts from the study of materials up to the manufacturing process, the metrology of the mirrors and the simulations of the optical design.
In our laboratories we have a large set of tools for the characterization of mirrors, from their shape (laser interferometer and profilometer for scans up to one meter), to their surface micro roughness (optical profilometer and atomic microscopes). Furthermore, concerning mirrors for astronomy X, we can test the reflectivity and scattering of mirrors up to 50 KeV.
For the interpretation of the metrological results we use specific software, most of which has been developed by our staff and is continuously updated.

For students
Our group follows graduate PhD students and fellows with cutting edge work. If you want to know more, contact us.

The Group is now guided by
Dr. Giovanni Pareschi (PI for X-Ray optics for Gamma Ray group)
with the collaboration of Dr. Mauro Ghigo (PI for the Glass and Ion Beam Figuring technologies).

The group is composed by:
staff researcher: Dr. Daniele Spiga, Ing. Stefano Basso, Dr.ssa Marta Civitani, Dr.ssa Giorgia Sironi, Dr.ssa Bianca Salmaso, Dr. Giovanni Pareschi, Dr. Mauro Ghigo;
Post-doc: Dr. Vincenzo Cotroneo, Dr. Gabriele Vecchi;
Executive scientific secretary: Dr.ssa Rachele Millul;
Outside partners: Prof. Oberto Citterio e Dr. Paolo Conconi.