Lucio Chiappetti

"Lucus a non lucendo"

updated on 28 Jan 13 14:33

Biographic data



During my thesis I started working on galactic X-ray sources (binary systems containing compact objects like white dwarfs, neutron stars or black holes) and analysed ultraviolet data of AM Her, SMC X-2 and Cyg X-1 taken with the IUE satellite.

While at Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) I worked on the analysis and intepretation of data taken with the collimated proportional counter (experiment C) on board the X-ray astronomy satellite Ariel 5. I continued working on binary sources (Cyg X-1, Cyg X-2) and on a transient survey and a spectral catalogue of the entire mission.

While at Milan University, I continued to collaborate with MSSL, and went back to the analysis of low dispersion UV (IUE) spectra of cataclismic variables (MV Lyr), low mass X-ray binary sources (LMXRB: Cyg X-2) and also AGNs (active galactic nuclei).

In support to the IUE data analysis I prepared a first software system, which has undergone many changes, but is still used now at IFCTR.


While on leave at the European Space Operation Centre (ESOC) I have been a Duty Scientist for the Exosat satellite (European X-ray Observatory Satellite). Before the satellite launch (may 1983) I worked on the ground calibrations of the CMA (Channel Multiplier Array) in collaboration with the Werkgroep Kosmische Straling of Huygens Laboratorium (Leiden, NL).
After launch I supported flight calibrations of the CMA, while busy in the routine mission science operations. I contributed in substantial way to the data analysis software for the Low Enery telescopes (LE).

I conducted several Exosat observations of AGNs (Seyfert galaxies, BL LAC objects and QSOs) and binary galactic sources (cataclismic variables, LMXRB and black hole candidates) within research programs of IFCTR, of the Exosat Observatory and in collaboration with other European groups.

I also designed the earliest version of the software for the Exosat Result Data Base.


When I came back to IFCTR I completed the Milan Exosat data analysis software system, in support to the analysis of most of the above observations.

I continued for a long time with data analysis work of multifrequency observations (e.g. Exosat, IUE and ground-based) in the fields of AGNs and binary galactic sources, with particular regard to the study of spectral properties and periodic and aperiodic variability.

Moreover my previous experience has caused an ever growing involvement in the support to the space projects of IFCTR, with particular regard to data analysis software, ground operations, and on-board operative modes. I have been involved primarily in the following projects :

In the field of ground-based astronomy I participated to an early definition phase of the AVO project, and I'm currently participating to the observational cosmology activities of the Institute.

I have some marginal involvement (mainly as a consultant about the FITS data format) in the EUCLID and CTA projects.

Last but not least, I have been following for about two decades our IFCTR computer system, with particular regard to the installation and maintenance of astronomical software and to the network management, for my institute and for INAF.

I am author of more than 100,000 lines of (mainly in Fortran) software, for IUE, Exosat, SAX, EPIC, and VIRMOS, and also for graphics, and other general purpose software (see an account here).

Since 1 Dec 2003 I am a member of the IAU FITS Working Group (vice-chairman since 21 Jul 2009; chairman since 1 Sep 2012) and since 15 Sep 2006 individual member of the IAU.


Current languages spoken are Italian and English. I also know some German and Russian.

I am fond of history, with particular regard to local history of Milan. I am a reader of traditional science fiction.

I am NOT a supporter of Berlusconi.

Modified on 28 Jan 2013 14:33:10 CET by L.Chiappetti