The Astrophysical Observatory of Torino (OATo) has been involved, in the past decades, in several solar missions, in which solar coronagraphs were part of the remote sensing scientific payload, and is now one of the leading institutions in coronagraph design, analyzing data and developing diagnostic techniques for solar coronagraphy.

OATo kept planning coronagraphic innovative missions for the next decade space activity; some example: PROBA-3/ASPIICS (formation flight coronagraph to be launched in 2023), HEMERA/CorMag (coronagraph for a stratospheric balloon mission, to be launched in 2022), SailCor (coronagraph for a Sailcraft at 0.95 AU from the Sun, laboratory prototype to be tested within 2023).

Given the intrinsic faintness of the solar corona, with respect to the solar disc, the analysis of instrumental stray light is a critical activity in the design and calibration phases of any solar coronagraph.
The goal of the design activity is to suppress as much stray light as possible, by means of a careful optical study and experimental test in laboratory.
Each coronagraph deserves a dedicated study, as far as it concerns the adopted technical solutions and the methods of analysis, both being part of a genuine research program.

The research activity which is foreseen in the present Ph.D. thesis proposal is articulated in the following points:

  1. Development of innovative numerical methods for generalizing the stray light estimate to any kind of coronagraph, by means of a minimum number of parameters.
  2.  Developing of guidelines for experimental activities, dedicated to stray light measurements for solar coronagraphs. Applications to SailCor and CorMag instruments are foreseen.
  3. A further application is the implementation of the so called “scaled model” of the Proba-3/ASPIICS coronagraph in a laboratory clean environment, aiming at monitoring the stray light variations due to the spacecraft misalignments, during the formation flight phase.
  • For further details visit the University of Turin PhD programmes site .
  • The application deadline is 18th of June 2021.
  • For initial enquiries, please contact Dr. Luca Zangrilli (luca.zangrilli at or Dr. Federico Landini (federico.landini at by the 15th of June 2021..