"Lucus a non lucendo"
updated on 28 Jan 13 14:33
- Born in Milano (Italy) on
- Graduated cum laude in Physics at the
State University of Milan
on 23 february 1979 with the thesis
subject "Observations of X-ray sources (Cyg X-1,AM Her and SMC X-2) in the UV band"
- Since september 1979 to august 1980 visiting fellow at the X-ray astronomy group of
University College London -
Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL)
- Hombury St Mary (UK)
- Since september 1980 to august 1981 research fellow at the Section of Relativistic Astrophysics of the
Institute of Physics of the University of Milan
- Since september 1981 to june 1982 again visiting at MSSL
- Since june 1982 research staff member (Ricercatore) at
Istituto di Fisica Cosmica e Tecnologie Relative (IFCTR) in Milan
(since 2002 Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica - Sezione di Milano "G.Occhialini"
and since 2005 IASF Milano, a structure of INAF)
- Since july 1982 to january 1985, on leave of absence at the
European Space Agency
Darmstadt (Germany) as Duty Scientist for the
- Retroactive since 2006, senior staff member (Primo Ricercatore) at
INAF IASF Milano
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
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,
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
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
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
I completed the Milan
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
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
project, and I'm currently participating to the
observational cosmology activities of the Institute.
- ZEBRA/Gamtel (balloon gamma-ray imaging and spectroscopy)
software to support calibrations and launch campaign.
(X-ray Astronomy Satellite of the
Italian Space Agency)
I participated to the SAX Ground Segment Working Group, to the definition of on-board operative modes,
to the SAX Observation Program WG (compact galactic sources subgroup), to the SAX Data Analysis
Working Group) (of which I've been convenor in 1990). I gave a substantial contribution to the definition
and development of the data analysis software
I participated to the analysis of the ground calibrations, of the in-flight
calibrations (Science Verification Phase), and I hope to have finally found
the time to
analyse my own data.
(European Photon Imaging Camera, one of the experiments on board the X-ray Astronomy
I am Co-Investigator and have been member of the EPIC System Team as System Scientist,
keeping contact with the Science Operation Centre.
and convenor of some ad-hoc working groups, worked on the definition of the operating modes,
and engaged in observation simulations. I plan to analyse some data too, particularly
in the context of the joint
(Spectrum UV, an ultraviolet spectroscopy satellite in collaboration with institutes and
space agencies of the former Soviet Union)
I participated to the definition of the italian participation for
the ground segment and science operations, and to other support activities.
I have some marginal involvement (mainly as a consultant about the FITS data format)
in the EUCLID and CTA projects.
I have supported the
project for a multi-object spectrometer for the
In particularly I have followed the software and operations aspects of the VIRMOS
I have been recently engaged in the Phase A study for OPTIMOS-DIORAMAS, a similar but larger
multi-object spectrograph for the
I have been engaged from the origin as
catalogue administrator and software designer
to support the
master catalogue and
for the XMM based
the pipeline for the XMDS data reduction and the related identification work,
and I am currently engaged with similar role for the
database of the successor
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
and to the network management, for my institute and for INAF.
I am author of more than 100,000 lines of
software, for IUE,
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
I am a reader of traditional science fiction.
a supporter of Berlusconi.