Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic is a professional research institution with focus on a wide range of research topics; from the immediate environments of the Earth to distant galaxies and black holes in their cores. The research activities are carried out in four scientific departments: Dept. of Solar Physics, Dept. of Stellar Physics, Dept. of Interplanetary Matter, and Dept. of Galaxies and Planetary Systems. Main areas of research activities include physical processes in the Sun, especially in solar flares, physical processes in stars, interaction of the interplanetary matter with the Earth atmosphere, asteroids and comets, dynamics of the Solar System bodies, formation and evolution of galaxies, and relativistic astrophysics.
Competences and capabilities
Large international collaborations represent a significant part of the research activities of the Astronomical Institute. Scientists from the Institute are involved in many international projects of new-generation astronomical instruments for ground-based as well as space-based telescopes, the latter usually done in a close co-operation with the European Space Agency (ESA).
The Astronomical Institute takes the coordinating role in the programme ‘Space for Mankind’ of the Strategy AV 21 project of the Czech Academy of Sciences (www.vesmirprolidstvo.cz). This programme involves several other institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, prime universities and industry.
- power supply units for STIX and RPW
- web pages that are part of SWESNET Portal providing suspot group classification, solar flare forecast, daily bulletin and synoptic images of the Sun.
Major Space Projects & References
- Solar Orbiter – design, development and manufacture of the three scientific instruments on board: Spectrometer-Telescope In X-rays (STIX), Radio and Plasma Wave experiment (RPW), and METIS in collaboration with IPP TOPTEC. Mission launched in 2020, all the components made in the Czech Republic work perfectly.
- Coordination and the scientific part of the project “Front Door Assembly and Primary Objective together with Relay Optics” - done by national industrial partners, including participation in setting of the scientific requirements for the ASPIICS coronagraph onboard Proba 3.
- Design, development and delivery of radiation hardened low-voltage power supply for Radio and Plasma Wave Instrument (RPWI) on the JUICE mission (ESA).
- Lunar Dusty Environment and Plasma Package (L-DEPP) experiment for Lunar Lander: design study for complex instrumentation for dust and plasma analysis in the lunar near surface environment. Experiment was proposed as a potential payload for Lunar Lander mission (ESA). Project was funded under ESA open ITT contract.
- The expert group of Solar Patrol Service (SPS) at Astronomical Institute becomes a member of ESA project „Space Weather Service Network (SWESNET) Development and Pre-Operation Part 1“. Under this project services providing daily monitoring and information on solar activity are developed.
- ATHENA X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) – scientific and project management, collaboration with the IAP on development of warm front-end electronics of the instrument.
- ATHENA Wide-Field Imager (WFI) – scientific management, design of Galvanic Isolation Modules.
- eXTP (enhanced X-ray Timing and Polarimetry) – scientific and project management, collaboration with the industrial partners on mechanical design of the Detector and Collimator Frames
- LISA (Laser Interferometry Space Antenna) - scientific and project management of the development of the Fibre Switch Unit Actuators for the space-based gravitational-wave observatory
Most of the above-mentioned activities are funded by PRODEX Experiment Agreement with ESA.
Space Related Equipment, Labs & Certificates
Electronic lab equipped for breadboarding and testing activities related to space H/W development