Space Optics

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. ESA provides, develops, and coordinates Europe’s access to space technologies and applications. ESA is an international organization with 22 Member States and its mission is to design and implement the European space programme. By cooperation and pooling of the financial resources and know-how of its members’ experts, ESA is able to engage in activities and achieve goals far beyond the scope of any single European country.

Currently, our scientists are involved in solving a number of space research projects, both for ESA (METIS and ASPIICS) and for some of its prime contractors, such as Airbus Defence and Space SAS (TIRI project), or OHB Italia S.p.A (NEOSTEL project).

METIS (The Multi Element Telescope for Imaging and Spectroscopy)

The solar coronagraph telescope METIS is going to be one of 10 main experiments on the Solar Orbiter satellite imaging the solar corona in three different spectral regions:on the He II spectral line at 30.4 nm, on the HI spectral line at 121.4 nm, and in visible polarized light at 590 - 650 nm.  Our team is responsible for the realization of the two main mirrors (M1 and M2) of the METIS telescope. PDF


ASPIICS (Association de Satellite Pour l'Imagerie et l'Interferometrie de la Couronne Solaire)

The ASPIICS project is a part of the technological mission PROBA-3 dedicated to the demonstration of the technology and techniques involved in satellite formation flying. ASPIICS is also the very first solar coronagraph telescope that is divided into two independent satellites separated by a distance of 140 m. The TOPTEC Centre is responsible for the overall optical design and tolerancing of the entire optical system and for its final production. PDF 

NEOSTEL (Near Earth Object Survey Telescope)

The goal of the NEOSTEL project is the development and implementation of a ground-based network of telescopes distributed along the Equator, which can observe the sky and automatically search for potentially dangerous Near Earth Objects. The new concept of the telescope, nicknamed “Fly-Eye” due to its similarity to the  anatomical structure of a fly’s compound eye, enables an expansion of the field of view while maintaining compact dimensions. Our team provides the aspherical lenses for the Fly-Eye telescope and develops the testing elements. PDF

TIRI (Thermal InfraRed Imager)

The project is focused on verifying the possibility of the use of uncooled microbolometer sensors for Earth observation. The goal is to develop an optical system that enables high resolution infrared imaging of the Earth from the low orbit. Our Centre is solving the optical design of the system and performing a detailed analysis of its characteristics in order to achieve its optimization with respect to its manufacturability.

FLEX (FLuorescence EXplorer) 

Complex optical analysis of the system, assembly of individual optical and mechanical elements and their further integration into a fully functional system. The analysis and tests include characterization of optical surface scattering functions, bonding of opto-mechanical interfaces to minimize vibration shocks on optics, vibration and thermal tests and final full optical characterization of the system. The aim of the mission is to map vegetation fluorescence to quantify photosynthetic activity which will improve the understanding of carbon movement between plants and the atmosphere. PDF

ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey)

TOPTEC involvement in the project includes the design, development and realization of common optics setup, including its holders and adjustment capabilities.The mission will measure the chemical composition and thermal structures of exoplanets, linking them to the environment of the host star. PDF



Radek Melich, Ph.D. 
Tel.: +420 487 953 917 
Mob.: +420 776 783 952