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 (0.8 MB)

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 (0.7 MB)

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 (0.8 MB)

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.


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