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Subsections

Projects and Collaborations


Space projects

World Space Observatory/UV Telescope. Activities related to the implementation and phase A study of the World Space Observatory/Ultraviolet (WSO/UV) telescope have been carried out at Catania Observatory. WSO/UV is a project based on a fully open international collaboration, which is meant to provide advanced observing capabilities in the ultraviolet (UV) range [55,70]. The WSO/UV satellite is planned to be a 1.7-m telescope operative in the classical UV (from 115 nm to 310 nm), equipped with a medium/high-resolution plus a long-slit low-resolution spectrograph, high-sensitive and high-resolution UV cameras and an optical camera. Its launch is planned for 2007, and it will be finally operated at the Lagrangian point L2 of the Sun-Earth system, where it should operate for 5 ($+5$) years. A multinational Phase A study is presently in progress in several countries (e.g. Russia, Germany, China, UK, Spain, Italy, Israel, etc.) where National WSO/UV Working (NWWG) groups have been formed, under the coordination of the WSO/UV Implementation Committee (WIC). Italian scientists have participated in the WSO/UV project from its beginnig. Specifically, M. Rodonò (Catania University) represented the Italian NWWG till september 2001 in the WIC. After September 2001, I. Pagano, as coordinator of the Italian NWWG, is the Italian representative in the WIC. The Italian NWWG is formed of about sixty members among astronomers and technicians, belonging to eleven Italian research institutes and two Italian industries operating in the field of space tecnologies. Since December 2001, G. Bonanno has joined Brosch (Wise Obs. Israel) as WSO/UV focal plane manager. There are six astronomers from Catania Observatory involved in the project up to date. Specifically, in 2002, I. Pagano has participated to the WIC meetings (May 2002 in Moscow, Russia, and Dec 2002 in Tübingen, Germany), and has coordinated the NWWG to plan the contribution to WSO/UV from the Italian Institutes and aero-spatial industries (Alenia, Galileo Avionica, and Laben), and to present it to the Italian Space Agency in November 2002 to get its support [78]. G. Bonanno, coordinated the WSO/UV focal plane meeting held in Moscow in May 2002, and participated to the focal plane design and imagers definition.

COROT space mission. Reasearchers at Catania observatory has continued the collaboration with other scientists in Europe for the preparation of the COROT space project. COROT is a space experiment dedicated to ultra-high precision, wide-field, relative stellar photometry, for very long continuous observing runs on the same field of view. It has two main scientific programs working simultaneously on adjacent regions of the sky: 1) asteroseismology, and 2) search for extrasolar planets. Specifically, Busà, Cutispoto, Messina, and Pagano have monitored a selection of primary targets for the asteroseismology program with the 91-cm telescope of the Observatory to evaluate the level of magnetic activity in these stars and their rotation periods by analyzing high-resolution spectra ($R \sim 20,000$) in the region of Ca II H & K lines. The reduction and analysis of the data collected is in progress.

In the mean time, theoretical work has been carried out by Lanza, Pagano and collaborators at Catania university and at the Laboratoire de Astrophysique de Marseille (France) to address the influence of stellar activity on the detection of planetary transits [76].

A contribution to the selection of possible COROT additional programs in the field of stellar activity has been given by I. Pagano and collaborators [77].

GAIA space mission. A contribution to the GAIA Radial Velocity Spectrometer (RVS) optimization study has been given by Pagano and Busà. GAIA (http://astro.estec.esa.nl/GAIA/) has been selected as a forthcoming ESA Cornerstone mission and it is designed to obtain extremely precise astrometry (in the micro-arcsec regime), multi-band photometry and medium/high resolution spectroscopy for a large sample of stars. In particular, GAIA spectroscopy will be obtained over the 8480-8750 Å wavelength range, centered on the near-IR CaII triplet and the head of the Paschen series, where also abundant FeI, SiI, MgI, NI and TiI lines cluster. The spectral resolution is currently foreseen to be around 20,000 [97,120].

UV Italian Sky Surveyour (UVISS). It is a small UV telescope designed for accomodation on the International Space Station [4]. The Catania technological team and G. Bonanno, S. Catalano, A. Lanzafame, Pagano, Rodonò and Scuderi are involved, together with the Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera-Merate and the Istituto di Fisica Cosmica of CNR, in the design and realization of a wide-field camera for near UV (130-260 nm) and, possibly, far UV (90-115 nm) imaging. Critical components of the camera are the filters to select the band-passes of interest. The proposed solution will make use of filters based on the multilayers technique (Scuderi et al. 2000). During the past year the team has worked on the optical design of the filters (see fig. 2.41) and has performed few experimental tests on selected coatings. The results of this work (Conconi et al 2003) are encouraging since they show that the technique is reliable.

SoHO/UVCS and SHARP. Spadaro and Ventura continued their involvement in the SoHO/UVCS project as witnessed by the work described in Sect. 2.1. Moreover, Spadaro has been recently appointed Responsible for the scientific coordination of the space experiment SPECTRE (i.e., Spectroheliograph for the Transition Region, the P.I. of which is E. Antonucci from INAF-Turin Observatory) a segment of the Solar and Heliospheric Activity Research and Prediction Program (SHARPP) having as P. I. R. Howard from Naval Research Laboratory - Washington. SHARPP is a NASA mission developed in the framework of the program "Living with a star" and is to be launched in 2007. The experiment SPECTRE is a contribution from the Italian solar physics community and it is devoted to the study of the solar transition region, the interface separating the solar chromosphere from the corona from which most of the solar EUV emission is originated and the site of remarkable dynamic phenomena affecting the outer atmosphere of the Sun. In addition to Spadaro, also the other solar physicists of Catania Observatory and University are getting involved in the project.

National and international projects

The research activity at Catania Astrophysical Observatory is going on in the framework of a number of national and international projects and collaborations, the most important of which are:

REM. M. Rodonó, G. Cutispoto, E. Martinetti, S. Messina and S. Sardone have collaborated on the design of the REM automatic telescope for near-infrared spectroscopy, devoted to the observations of Gamma Ray Bursts, detected by the NASA SWIFT satellite. REM is a small rapid reaction automatic telescope dedicated to monitor the prompt afterglow of $\gamma$-Ray Burst (GRB) events. One of the most important characteristics of this instrument is the fast pointing system which will enable the detection of the GRBs [Zerbi et al. Astronomische Nachrichten, 2001].

WSO/UV. The World Space Observatory is an international project which involves several countries in the realization of a space telescope optimized for ultraviolet observations. The project is in the feasibility study phase and the group is involved in the realization of an imaging camera and detectors. I. Pagano, coordinator of the Italian Working Group, has represented the Italian community at the WSO/UV Implementation Committee [78].

COROT. I. Pagano has also worked on the COROT project, coordinating the Italian group involved in stellar activity programs [77]. A.F. Lanza and M. Rodonó have discussed the role of magnetic activity in the detection of oscillations in solar type stars by COROT [17].

X-SHOOTER. X-SHOOTER is a high-efficiency medium resolution spectrograph which will allow simultaneous coverage of the whole spectral range from the UV (300 nm) to the near IR (1.9 micron). The instrument consists of three separate spectrograph arms for the UV-Blue, Visual-Red, and near-IR part of the spectrum with a resolution of about 10,000. X-SHOOTER will be built by an European consortium comprising ESO, Denmark, Netherlands and Italy. Within the Work Package on Detector systems, the Catania group, due to its recognized expertise in the area of detectors and associated electronics will cooperate with ESO in the characterization of the optical detector systems.

PEPSI. PEPSI is a fibre-fed spectropolarimeter and high-resolution spectrograph for LBT, that takes full advantage of the binocular nature of the telescope. In the polarimetric mode it will allow observing simultaneously circular and linear polarization at high-resolution (R = 80,000), while in integral light it will reach an even higher resolution (up to 300,000). PEPSI is a collaboration of the Astrophysical Institute of Potsdam and of the Italian Consortium. PEPSI at the LBT will allow investigating the role of magnetic fields in astrophysics and will be unique among the instruments currently available at 8-10m class telescopes both for its polarimetric capabilities and for the extremely high resolution. The Catania group will be responsible for the electronics and control software and for the characterization of the CCD detector for PEPSI. Moreover cooperation on the polarimeter concept and reduction software is foreseen.

A complete list of participation in projects is the following:  


Table 3.1: Projetcs titles
Acronym Project Title
APT/2-80cm Automatic Photometric Telescope with CCD camera
AVES Adaptive optics Visual Echelle Spectrograph: intermediate
  dispersion spectrograph for VLT (ESO) / LBT, with
  adaptive optics. Phase A
COROT COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits, CNRS-ASI
  -ESA
EUSO (ex AirWatch) Space-born telescope for EECR study (Extreme Energy
  Cosmic Ray), ASI-NASA
REM Robotic telescope (Rapid Eye Mount) GRB detection in
  the NIR band
PEPSI Potsdam echelle Polarimeter Spectrograph instrument
SOHO SOlar and Heliospheric Obs., UVCS Spectrograph, NASA-
  ESA
SPAD Single Photon Avalanche Diode
TNG Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (technical plant, detectors
  imaging systems, polarimetric module on SARG)
UVISS UV telescope for the International Space Station
WSO World Space Observatory, a large UV space mission
Diamante Project Development of detectors based on CVD diamonds


 

Staff involved in projects

[Projetcs and collaboration: OACt researchers Projects]OACt researchers Projects

Name Project
   
Becciani U. TNG (archiving software group )
Bonanno A. COROT (WG Seismology)
Bonanno G. TNG ( Imaging and SARG group)
  UVISS (Detector for the imaging camera)
  AVES ( CCD camera , controller)
  PEPSI (Control electronics and CCD)
  SPAD (Electro-optic characterization)
  WSO (Detector coordination)
Belluso M. AVES (CCD camera, controller)
  PEPSI (Control electronics and CCD)
  SPAD (Electro-optic characterization)
Bruno P. TNG (Imaging group, SARG, polarimetric module)
  UVISS (Detector for the imaging camera)
  AVES ( CCD camera , controller)
  PEPSI (Controls software )
Busá I. COROT (WG Stellar activity, and Ground Support)
  APT/2-80cm (Data archiving and reduction)
Calí A. TNG (Imaging group and SARG)
Catalano S. TNG (SARG polarimetric module)
  UVISS (Science team, imaging camera)
  AVES (Science team)
  COROT (WG Stellar activity, and Ground Support)
  PEPSI (OACt chair person)
Cosentino R. TNG (Imaging group, SARG)
  AVES (CCD camera, controller)
  PEPSI (Control electronics and CCD)
  SPAD (Electro-optic characterization)
Cutispoto G. REM (OACt chair person)
  COROT (WG Stellar activity, and Ground Support)
Di Benedetto R. EUSO (Calibration)
Di Mauro M. COROT (Seismology WG)
  GONG
Gentile G. TNG (Polarimetric module)
  APT/2-80cm (Focal plane mechanics)
Frasca A. COROT (WG Stellar activity, and Ground Support)
  APT/2-80cm (Archive and data reduction)
Lanza A. F. COROT (WG Stellar activity, and Ground Support)
Leone F. TNG (Polarimetric module project)
  PEPSI (Polarimetry, data reduction)
Martinetti E. REM (Mechanics, electronics and test)
  APT/2-80cm (Software e installation)
Messina S. APT/2-80cm (Archive and data reduction)
  COROT (WG stellar activity and Ground support)
  REM (Science team)
Pagano I. UVISS (Science team)
  COROT (WG Stellar activity, and Ground Support)
  WSO (Italian PI, Science team)
Sardone S. REM (Mechanics, electronics and test)
  APT/2-80cm (Mechanics, optics supervisor)
Scuderi S. TNG (Imaging group SARG)
  UVISS (Imaging camera,mirrors,filters)
  AVES (CCD camera)
  Diamante Progect (Detector)
Spadaro D. SOHO ( UVCS, Co-I)
Ventura R. SOHO (UVCS, Co-I)
  COROT (WG Seismology)
   
 

Collaborations

In the scientific context of the researches carried out at Catania Observatory several collaborations with single scientists and Institutions are going on as listed below:

Solar Physics:

-
Big Bear Solar Observatory, Big Bear City, CA 92314, USA: V.B. Yurchyshyn

-
Dip. Astronomia Univ. Firenze, Firenze: G. Noci
-
Dip. Di Fisica Univeritá di Roma ``Tor Vergata'', Roma: F. Berilli
-
Dip. Scienze Fisiche e Astronomiche, Univ. di Palermo, Palermo: G. Peres
-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Palermo: S. Orlando

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, Pino Torinese (TO): E. Antonucci

-
Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Parigi (Francia): J.C. Vial, P. Lemaire

-
Mathematical Science Dept., St Andrews University, St. Andrews, KY16 9SS United Kingdom: E.R. Priest

-
Naval Research Laboratory, Washington (DC, USA): S.K. Antiochos, et al.

-
Themis, France: C. Briand

Stellar Physics:

-
Armagh Observatory, Armagh (North Ireland): C.J. Butler, J.G. Doyle

-
Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam (Germany): K.G. Strassmeier, G.Rüdiger, D. Elstner, Th. Granzer

-
Astron. Institute, Potsdam (Germany) : K. Strassmeier, et al.
-
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation: E. Magnier, E. Ménard
-
Complejo Astron'omico El Leoncito (Argentina): S. Malaroda

-
Catholic University of America (IACS), Washington (DC, USA): R.D. Robinson

-
Dept. of Physics and Astron., College of Charleston (NC, USA): J.E. Neff

-
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University, (NJ, USA): M. Gagné

-
Dip. Scienze Fisiche e Astronomiche, Univ. di Palermo, Palermo: G. Peres

-
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt (MD, USA): HST/STIS Team

-
Ege University Observatory, Bornova, Izmir, Turchia: C. Ibanoglu, S. Evren

-
European Southern Observarory, Garching bei Munchen (Germania): L. Pasquini

-
European Southern Observarory, Santiago del Cile (Cile): M. Kurster, S. Bagnuolo

-
Istitute d'Astrophysique de Paris, Paris (Francia): M. K. Andre'

-
Inst. d'Astrophys. Spatiale, Univ. Paris XI, Orsay (Francia): P. Gouttebroze

-
Istit. di Radioastronomia del CNR, Noto (SR): C. Trigilio, G. Umana

-
Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii : E.L. Martín

-
Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, Boulder (CO, USA): J.L. Linsky, A. Krishnamurthi

-
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimora (MD, USA): L. Bianchi, P. Sonnentrucker

-
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France): P. Barge, M. Deleuil

-
Lockheed Palo Alto Research Co., Palo Alto (CA, USA): B.M. Haisch

-
National Astronomical Observatory, Sofia (Bulgaria): N. Markova

-
National Optical Astronomical Observatory, Tucson (AZ, USA): J. Valenti
-
Observatoire de Grenoble: C. Dougados

-
Observatoire Midi-Pyrènès (Francia): J. F. Donati

-
Obs. Astronomique, Univ. Strasbourg (France): R. Freire-Ferrero, A. Fresnau, J. Guillot

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Merate (MI): G. Chincarini, G. Tagliaferri, L. Pastori, E. Antonello, L. Mantegazza, + REM Group

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Napoli: E. Covino, J Alcalá

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Palermo: R. Pallavicini, A. Maggio

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma: F. D'Antona, C. Maceroni

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino: M. Villata, C. M. Raiteri

-
Observatoire de Paris: A. Baglin, et al.

-
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimora (MD, USA): N. Panagia

-
Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian (Russia): D.N. Monin

-
Theoretical Astrophysics Center, Aarhus (Danimarca): J. Christiansen-Dalsgaard, F. Pijpers, H. Kjeldsen

-
Univ. Federale del Rio Grande du Norte, Natal (RN, Brasile): R. de Medeiros

-
University of Chicago, Chicago (IL, USA): R. Rosner

-
University of Southampton (UK): P. Maxted

-
University of Sussex, Department of Physical Sciences (UK): R.P. Fender, S.K.Yerli

-
University of Toronto (Canada): G. A. Wade

-
University of Villanova, Villanova (PA, USA): E.F. Guinan, C. Ambruster

-
University of Western Ontario (Canada): J. D. Landstreet

-
Universitat Wien (Austria): M.J. Stift

Chemically Peculiar Stars:

-
Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito, San Juan (Argentina): S. Malaroda

-
Istit. di Radioastronomia del CNR, Noto (SR): P. Leto, C. Trigilio, G. Umana

-
NASA InfraRed Telescope Facility, Honolulu (HI, USA): W. Vacca

-
South African Astronomical Observatory, Cape Town (Sud Africa): P. Martinez

-
University of Cape Town, Cape Town (Sud Africa): D. Kurtz

-
University of Toronto, Toronto (Canada): G. Wade

-
University of Wien, Vienna (Austria): S. Bagnulo, M. Stift

Experimental Astrophysics and Solar System:

-
Dept. of Astronomy, Ohio State Univ., Columbus (OH, USA): D. M. Terndrup

-
Dept. of Astronomy, Univesrsity of Charlottesville,Virginia (VA, USA): R.E. Johnson, R. Baragiola

-
Earth and Space Sci. Dept., NY State Univ., Stony Brook (NY, USA): F. Walter
-
German Aerospace Center, DLR, Berlin: Ljuba Moroz
-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma: Elisabetta Dotto
-
INAF Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Firenze: P. Caselli, M. Walmsley

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Napoli: L. Colangeli,J. Brucato, V. Mennella

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Cagliari, Cagliari: G. Mulas

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Roma: B. Nisini

-
Max Plank Inst. fur Kernphysik, Heidelberg (Germania): J. Kissel

-
NASA-AMES Laboratory (CA, USA): A.G.G.M. Tielens, Y. Pendleton, D. Cruikshank

-
University of Catania, Department of Chemistry: G. Compagnini.
-
University of Lecce, Department of Physics: V. Orofino, A. Blanco, S. Fonti
-
University of Valencia, Spain: M. Satorre, O. Gomis, M. Domingo

Galaxies and Cosmology:

-
Inst. of Astron., Univ. of Edinburgh (UK): E. van Kampen

-
Lebedev Instit. for Theoretical Physics, Mosca (Russia): V. Lukash et al.

-
Università di Copenhagen (TAC), Copenhagen (Danimarca): J. Sommer Larsen

-
Università dell' Insubria, Como: A. Treves

-
Università "La Sapienza", Roma: E. Massaro, R. Nesci

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, M. Villata

Image Detectors and image Processing:

-
CARSO (Center for Advanced Research in Space Optics), Trieste: R. Stalio

-
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università  di Firenze, Firenze: P. Spillantini

-
English Electric Valve, Chelmsford (UK): P. Jorden

-
European Southern Observarory, Garching bei Munchen (Germania): J. Beletic

-
Istituto di Fisica Cosmica del CNR, MIlano: M. Uslenghi

-
INAF Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Arcetri (FI): E. Pace

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Merate (MI): R. Citterio

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Padova: R. Gratton, F. Bortoletto

-
INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Palermo: R. Pallavicini

Others:

-
CINECA, Casalecchio di Reno (Bo): G. Erbacci e R. Ansaloni (Calcolo ad Alte Prestazioni), C. Gheller e L. Calori (Visualizzazione Scientifica)

-
Ottica Marcon, S. Donà  di Piave (VE): progetto APT/2-80cm

next up previous contents index
Next: Facilities and Services Up: INAF Osservatorio Astrofisico di Previous: Research   Contents   Index
Giuseppe Leto 2003-06-27