High-resolution observations, theoretical arguments, and numerical simulations indicate that the small-scale magnetism holds the key to many poorly understood aspects of the solar magnetism on all scales, such as the existence of a local dynamo, chromospheric heating, flux emergence, long-term irradiance variations, to name a few.
The goal of this project is to make substantial advances in the understanding of the role played by the small-scale magnetic structures in some processes occurring in the solar atmosphere, by exploiting the potentialities of combined high-resolution observations and numerical simulations.

This project has been funded by PRIN-INAF-2010. It started in July 2011 and will last for 2 years.

Read more at: link






EST Logo


   CVS Centro per lo Studio della Variabilita' solare


   PSPT Precision Solar Photometric Telescope


   EST European Solar Telescope








                  SOLID   First European Comprehensive SOLar Irradiance Data exploitation


 eHEROES  Environment for Human Exploration and RObotic Experimentation in Space

eHeroes is a European Commission funded FP7 project.
The eHEROES project aims at characterizing the environment in space, in order to provide useful information for planning and implementing space missions, whether manned or robotic. The project aims at realizing effective scientific exploitation of space data by combining different datasets from current robotic explorations of the Solar System with data from current and past space-based and complementing ground-based observations, together with new data sources from the latest missions. Besides, eHEROES aims at adding value to the data by better organizing and cross-linking them, by applying state-of-the-art models, and by assimilating the heliospheric data in space environment simulations.

eHEROES started in March 2012 and will last for 3 years. OAR participates in the activities that focus on the study of active region magnetic configurations as flare precursors, extrapolation of photospheric magnetograms, modelling of irradiance data.

Read more at : http://www.eheroes.eu


SOLID is a European Commission funded FP7 project.
Within this new project an extensive database of spectral solar irradiance measurements, solar proxies, and data from irradiance models will be developed. A particular emphasis will be put on assessing the long-term stability of the existing data as well as providing a suitable error budget for the available data. Such a database will be very valuable for studies investigating the solar impact on Earth’s climate.

SOLID will start in December 2012 and will last 3 years. OAR participates in the activities that focus on the exploitation of irradiance and proxy data, analysis of solar images, modelling of spectral irradiance.

Read more at: http://projects.pmodwrc.ch/solid/


 Magnetic fine structure of the solar atmosphere

TOSCA is a multidisciplinary European network of scientists from more than 18 countries whose objective is to provide a better understanding of the hotly debated role of the Sun in climate change.

TOSCA started in June 2011 and will last for 4 years. The activities are carried out by 5 working groups: WG1 impact of solar radiative forcing, WG2 impact of interplanetary perturbations, WG3 impact of energetic particles, WG4 interfacing between upper and lower atmospheric layers and corresponding models, WG5 outreach and dissemination (GHOST). OAR participates in the activities of WG1, WG5, and of the management committee.

Read more at : www.cost-tosca.eu



COST Action ES1005 TOSCA - Towards a more complete assessment of the impact of solar variability on the Earth’s climate

EST is a 4-meter class solar telescope, to be located in the Canary Islands. It will be optimised for studies of the magnetic coupling between the deep photosphere and upper chromosphere. This will require diagnostics of the thermal, dynamic and magnetic properties of the plasma over many scale heights, by using multiple wavelength imaging, spectroscopy and spectropolarimetry. To achieve these goals, EST will specialize in high spatial and temporal resolution using instruments that can efficiently produce two-dimensional spectral information.

The Conceptual Design Study of the EST has been a European Commission funded FP7 project. It has involved 29 partners, plus 9 collaborating institutions, from 15 different countries. OAR has partecipated in the study of various parts of the telescope and lead the activities aimed at the definition of requirements and preliminary design of the observatory control and data handling.

Read more at : www.est-east.eu

The PSPT is the centerpiece of the US National Science Foundaton project 'Radiative Inputs from Sun to Earth' whose aim is to measure and understand variability in the solar radiative output. The PSPT produces seeing-limited full-disk digital (2048x2048) images in the blue continuum (409.4nm, FWHM 0.3nm ), red continuum (607.1nm, FWHM 0.5nm ), CaII K (393.4nm, FWHM 0.3nm) and other bands, with a  0.1% pixel-to-pixel relative photometric precision.

The US National Solar Observatory designed and built three PSPT units. The first one was installed at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma on June 1996. The second telescope was then installed at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory and the third one was set aside for debugging and spare.

The Rome-PSPT  has been acquiring daily images of the solar atmosphere in various bands since July 1996.

The installation of the Rome-PSPT has been funded by Ministero dell'Ambiente. Telescope operation and research based on PSPT data have been funded also by MIUR and Regione Lazio.

Read more at : http://www.oa-roma.inaf.it/solare/Ilpsptdiroma_eng.htm

The CVS is a collaborative project involving the Rome Astronomical Observatory, the University of Rome "Tor Vergata" and the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. CVS activities are designed to promote and develop research programs on solar variability. CVS also organizes outreach and higher level educational programs on the research topic of solar variability and impact on Earth's atmosphere.

The CVS has been established in 2003 and funded by Regione Lazio in 2003-2005.

Read more at: http://www.oa-roma.inaf.it/cvs/index_evA.html


  SOLARNET  High-Resolution Solar Physics Network

This project aims at integrating the major European infrastructures in the field of high-resolution solar physics.

The following actions will be taken: (i) realise Trans-national Access to external European users; (ii) enhance and spread data acquisition and processing expertise to the Europe-wide community; (iii) increase the impact of high-resolution data by offering science-ready data and facilitating their retrieval and usage; (iv) encourage combination of space and ground-based data by providing unified access to pertinent data repositories; (v) foster synergies between different research communities by organising meetings where each presents state-of-the-art methodologies; (vi) train a new generation of solar researchers through setting up schools and an ambitious mobility programme; (vii) develop prototypes for new-generation post-focus instruments; (vii) study local and non-local atmospheric turbulence, their impact on image quality, and ways to negate their effects; (viii) improve the performance of existing telescopes; (ix) improve designs of future large European ground-and space-based solar telescopes; (x) lay foundations for combined use of facilities around the world and in space; (xi) reinforce partnership with industry to promote technology transfer through existing networks; and (xii) dissemination activities towards society.
The project involves all pertinent European research institutions, infrastructures, and data repositories. Together, these represent first-class facilities. The additional participation by private companies and non-European research institutions maximizes the impact on the world-wide scale. In particular, the project achievements will be of principal importance in defining the exploitation of the future 4-meter European Solar Telescope.

Read more at : http://www.solarnet-east.eu/



  GREST:Getting Ready for EST

This project is intended to take the European Solar Telescope (EST) to the next level of development by undertaking crucial activities to improve the performance of current state-of-the-art instrumentation. Legal, industrial and socio-economic issues will also be addressed, as key questions for the attainment of EST. The particular developments and strategic tasks proposed here can be summarised in the following specific objectives:
(i) Boosting new generation detectors, with the development of two prototype sensors, one for large-format imaging and a the other for high-precision polarimetry, the evaluation of an existing large format wavefront sensing camera is also addressed;
(ii) Development of a capacitance-stabilised Fabry-Perot prototype for a high quality control of the parallelism of the etalon plates;
(iii) new techniques for 2D solar spectro-polarimetry; with integral field units based on multi-slit image slicers or a microlens-fed spectrograph;
(iv) development of large format liquid-crystal modulators, required for the large-format sensors that will be needed for the new generation large aperture telescopes ;
(v) evaluation of the performance of the EST-MCAO deformable mirrors to improve the design and performance of this system; and
(vi) strategic work to covering industrial, financial and legal issues related the future construction and operation of EST. The following issues will be addressed:
• Elaboration of a census of the European solar physics community;
• Analysis of the technological expertise of European companies in the different countries and their potential expertise related with the construction needs of EST;
• Revision and update of the construction budget of EST;
• Stimulation of a discussion of all these aspects within the consortium EAST.
With all these elements in hand, the project will be in the condition to present a definite proposal for detailed design, construction, managing and operation of EST.



  Bando PRIN-INAF 2014: Plasma-magnetic field interplay in the solar atmosphere

The solar atmosphere is an extremely dynamic environment characterized by the continuous interplay between the plasma and the magnetic field that generate and permeate it. Such interplay, which holds a fundamental role in hugely diverse astrophysical systems, occurs at scales beyond the ones attainable with current telescopes. However, the combination of the results expected from analysis of state-of-art high resolution multi-wavelength spectro-polarimetric observations with detailed numerical inversions of the data by newly released codes offer to disclose unknown properties of the plasma-field interaction and improve the current understanding of involved processes. For these reasons, this project envisages the acquisition of new multi-wavelength data during two observing campaigns performed with the INAF IBIS instrument installed in the USA, one of the best existing imaging spectropolarimeters , and the analysis of these new observations with inversion and radiative codes publicly available and already employed by the proposers, specifically the SIR and NICOLE codes, to the purpose of:

1) study the wave propagation from the photosphere to the upper chromosphere in small- and largescale magnetic features, in order to evaluate the associated energy budget,
2) study the average properties and dymanics of small scales features in umbral and penumbral regions of sunspots, in order to provide numerical simulations with new observational constraints for improving the modelling of the processes leading to the evolution of sunspots.