Space environment



Project: GSTP AO 1-9063 Radiation Testing of Optical Coatings for Space

in collaboration with: Leonardo Company Spa, Carsoli

Space exploration is linked to the development of increasingly innovative instrumentation, able to withstand the operation environment, rich in ion particles and characterized by high temperatures. Future space missions such as JUICE and SOLAR ORBITER will operate in a very harsh and extreme environment. Electrons and ions are considered among the causes of potential damage of the optical instrumentation and components. Development of hard coatings capable to preserve their optical properties is pivotal. Different coating materials have been exposed to ion irradiation in particle accelerators. Change in optical performances has been observed in the extreme ultraviolet and visible spectral region and structural properties have been analyzed by different techniques. The knowledge of the damage mechanisms and thresholds allows the selection of more promising candidate materials to realize the optical components for the new frontiers space missions.


The group is responsible of different task related to the development of optical components for SOLAR ORBITER, instrument METIS, and JUICE, instrument JANUS. The activity are carried out in strong collaboration with industries and different national and international research groups.


Maria G. Pelizzo, Alain Jody Corso, Enrico Tessarolo, P. Zuppella, Roman Böttger, Rene Huebner, Vincenzo dalla Corte, Pasquale Palumbo, G. Taglioni, G. Preti, Luca Foggetta, Paolo Valente, Piergiorgio Rancoita, Alessandro Martucci, Enrico Napolitani, Optical components in harsh space environment, Proc. SPIE 2016

S. Zuccon, E. Napolitani, E. Tessarolo, P. Zuppella, A.J. Corso, F. Gerlin, M. Nardello, and M.G. Pelizzo, “Effects of helium ion bombardment on metallic gold and iridium thin films”, Optical Materials Express 5(1), 176–187, 2015

Nardello, M; Zuppella, P (Zuppella, Paola); Polito, V ; Corso, AJ; Zuccon, S; Pelizzo, MG, Stability of EUV multilayer coatings to low energy alpha particles bombardment, OPTICS EXPRESS  Volume: 21   Issue: 23   Pages: 28334-28343   Published: NOV 18 2013

Pelizzo M. G.; Corso Alain Jody; Zuppella Paola; D.L. Windt, G. Mattei, and P. Nicolosi, Stability of extreme ultraviolet multilayer coatings to low energy proton bombardment, OPTICS EXPRESS  Volume: 19   Issue: 16   Pages: 14838-14844   Published: AUG 1, 2011