SUPSI and IRSOL enter agreement for scientific collaboration in solar research

The University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) and the Istituto Ricerche Solari Locarno (IRSOL, affiliated to USI) have signed a collaboration agreement that will consolidate scientific research in Ticino related to the development of spectro-polarimetric instrumentation for solar observations. The agreement will allow IRSOL to access state-of-the-art technological competences in the field of solar research instrumentation and the Department of Innovative Technologies of SUPSI to bolster applied research in the scientific area of Applied Photonics and Optoelectronics within the Institute for Systems and Applied Electronics (ISEA). 

The main objective of the collaboration agreement is to foster research and innovation in the field of solar research through the development of a new type of high precision polarimetric camera. This will allow, on the one hand, IRSOL to consolidate its leading position worldwide in the field of solar spectropolarimetric observation and, on the other hand, SUPSI to further develop its applied research in the scientific area of Applied Photonics and Optoelectronics at the ISEA Institute.

Building on the many years of experience of SUPSI and IRSOL in the field of high-resolution spectral polarimetry, the new collaboration aims to forge a technology applicable also in other fields with high market potential where such technology is not yet available. In particular, an application in the biomedical field is considered of great interest because it would allow medical diagnostics in real time, improving the quality of surgery.

IRSOL, which can count on collaborations with, among others, the Swiss Center for Scientific Computing (CSCS) in Lugano-Cornaredo, is a research institute specialising in the observation and study of the sun through the ZIMPOL (Zürich IMaging POLarimeter) system based on a technology inherited from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and constantly improved by IRSOL and SUPSI. The ZIMPOL system is today internationally acknowledged for scientific observations of the sun. Today’s technologies allow a further development of the system adapting it to the needs of next generation solar telescopes. 

The new collaboration agreement represents an important element in the process of consolidation of the academic system in Ticino, bolstering the scientific expertise and knowledge in the field of solar research whose activities are considered strategic and unique at the international level.