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Optics and passive components

INAF groups (involved in radio astronomy and CMB studies) have a leadership role, acknowledged at an international level (ESA, NASA, ESO), in the design, modeling and measurement of complex optics. The leadership should be maintained and increased sothat national industries can benefit.

In current receivers the optical interface system needs to supply a wide instantaneous bandwidth (typically greater then 20%), to allow a continuous frequency coverage, good polarisation purity, as well as keeping weight and volume to a minimum (important both for space missions and cryogenic considerations). The need for an ever-growing range of frequencies translates into a need for high mechanical precision, obtainable withelectromoulding techniques.
Italy has a great deal of experience in this area. Collaborations between INAF, university institutes and small businesses have made use of know-how and development tools in electromagnetic optics and the associated simulations. Know-how related to the development of these components is subject to the transfer of technology towards industry for small scale component production (feeds, polarisers, guide filters, connectors) atfrequencies to about 200 GHz. This expertise has been used both for receivers mounted on Italian radio telescopes and, for example, ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array.
In fact, as part of ESO's responsibility to contribute to the antennas, the ALMA collectorsare being supplied by Media Lario Technologies, born as a spin-off from INAF institutes for the construction of mirrors for the XMM X-ray mission. The experience of certain INAFinstitutions in optics destined for space systems should also be mentioned, due to its relevance in a Sixth Framework Programme concerning "feedles" array receivers, in which the formation of the beam is achieved electronically at the focal plane.

Olivier Le Fevre - in memoriam

Jun 26, 2020

Olivier Le Fevre - in memoriam On June 25, the astronomer Olivier Le Fevre passed away

Magnetic tornadoes in the Sun’s atmosphere

Jun 26, 2020

Magnetic tornadoes in the Sun’s atmosphere A team of researchers led by Mariarita Murabito (INAF) that includes scientists of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Warwick University has provided the first observational proof that solar tornadoes are produced by swirling magnetic fields

Ultraviolet light vs. COVID19: from the Sun to artificial lamps the germicidal power of ultraviolet rays against the pandemic

Jun 15, 2020

Ultraviolet light vs. COVID19: from the Sun to artificial lamps the germicidal power of ultraviolet rays against the pandemic Results of a study carried out by the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) and the University of Milan, in collaboration with Istituto Nazionale Tumori and the Don Gnocchi Foundation of Milan, demonstrate the high germicidal power of short ultraviolet radiation (UV-C) on SARS-COV-2 coronavirus. This result has important public health implications on the strategies to be adopted to manage the pandemic and clearly explain how decontamination and sterilization protocols to prevent SARS-Cov-2 infection must be designed. Notably, taking off from these results a second study explains the role of Sun-derived UV-B/A in conditioning the epidemiology and the worldwide evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic