Biographical Resume

EDUCATION/TRAINING:

INSTITUTION AND LOCATION

DEGREE

YEAR

FIELD OF STUDY

Universita’ degli Studi Istituto di Fisica, Catania, Italy

in Physics

1980

Electronics

 

RESEARCH AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 

1981 – 1984      Astronomy Researcher in Technical Astronomy at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Milano where has developed a spectra data acquisition system based on a single line photodiodes RETICON detector.

1984                  Astronomy Researcher at the Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania where He still continue to work on the research that includes solid state detectors for astronomical instruments, CCD controllers, image acquisition and processing, and CCD characterization.

1987                  He realizes the first CCD system for the Echelle Spectrograph installed at the 91-cm telescope of the Osservatorio di Catania.

1990                  He collaborates for 5 months with a research group of the Paul Sherrer Institute (CH) to the space project EUVITA: an extreme UV imaging telescope array on the spectrum-X-Gamma satellite.

1991                  He becomes responsible for the optimization of CCD controllers using new generation CCDs, to be employed  in auto guider and adaptive optics. During this period he starts a research program devoted to reduce the CCD read-out noise.

1992                  He is called to cover the associate astronomer position in Technical Astronomy at the Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania.

1992  1994      He has led the design and realization of a detectors characterization system, installed at the Catania Observatory, able to cover the 130 -- 1100 nm spectral range. During this period He collaborates to the design of a software procedure for an automatic reduction of data coming from the above-mentioned detectors to allow a quick evaluation of the principal electro-optical parameters directly in laboratory.

1994                  He becomes coordinator of the Italian national group “Detectors Working Group for the National Telescope TNG”.

1992  2000      He has been responsible of the design and realization of various control systems.

2001                  He is called to cover the full astronomer position in Technical Astronomy at the Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania.

2003  present  Full astronomer, INAF- Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, Italy.

 

RECENT COLLABORATIONS

  1. The Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica Sez. 'G.Occhialini" - CNR Milano to build photon counting systems based on MCP coupled with CMOS-APS sensors.
  2. The INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova to carry out spectroscopic observations and study extrasolar planets.
  3. The PoliMi, the University of Pisa and the ESO to build new detectors based on photodiodes named SPAD (Single Photon  Avalanche Diode) useful for adaptive optics and fast transient imaging.
  4. The ST Microelectronics R&D of Catania to measure the optical proprieties and investigate the possible astronomical applications of new detectors based on avalanche photodiodes named SPAD.

 

PROJECTS:

  1. Local (including the characterization activity):

  • CCD Camera based on a SITe 1024 X 1024 pixels (pixel size 24 mm) thinned back illuminated CCD for the Echelle spectrograph of the stellar site “G. Fracastoro” on mount Etna of the Catania Observatory.
  • Characterization of the LORAL (2048 X 2048 pixels, pixel size 15 mm) CCD focal plane detector of the Low Resolution Spectrograph DOLORES of the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo.
  • Characterization of various EEV 4280 (2048 X 4096 pixels, pixel size 13.5 mm) CCDs used as detectors of the direct Optical Imager and of the High Resolution Spectrograph SARG of the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo.
  • Characterization of various EEV to evaluate a suitable detector for the UVISS project and in general for space observation in the UV spectral range.
  • Photometric CCD Camera based on a KODAK KAF-4202 (2048 X 2048 pixels, pixel size 9 mm) CCD for the 61-cm telescope of the stellar site “G. Fracastoro” on mount Etna of the Catania Observatory.

 

  2. National (Telescopio Nazionale Galileo):

  • Photometric CCD Camera based on a mosaic of two CCD EEV 4280 for the Optical Imager (OIG) of the TNG telescope.
  • Detector characterization laboratory at the TNG telescope useful to test the CCDs directly at the telescope site.
  • CCD Camera based for the high resolution spectrograph SARG of the TNG telescope.
  • Control system (hardware and software) for the High Resolution Spectrograph SARG.
  • Camera SPADA based on an array of 60 SPADs for the adaptive optics (to be utilised at the VLT ESO) and for “fast transient imaging” at the 91-cm telescope of the Mount Etna site.

 

  3. SPACE applications

  • Study of the suitable detectors for the Russian space telescope “Spectrum Ultra-Violet”(SUV)
  • Study of the suitable detectors for the AIRWATCH-EUSO project
  • Study of the suitable detectors for the UVISS project
  • Study of the suitable detectors for the WSO-UV  focal plane imagers

 

PATENTS:

High count rate photon counting system based on CMOS-APS.