Roberto Ragazzoni

Roberto Ragazzoni

Roberto Ragazzoni, PSWG, TOU Instrument Scientist, INAF – Astronomical Observatory of Padua, Italy

Role: Member of the PSWT,  TOU Instrument Scientist

After graduating in Astronomy in 1990 with 110/110 cum laude at the University of Padua, Roberto Ragazzoni was an Astronomer Researcher at the Astronomical Observatory of Padua, then became  Scholar Research in Astronomy at Tucson, University of Arizona.  In 2001 he was appointed as Astronomo Ordinario at the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory.

In 2002 Roberto Ragazzoni won the “Wolfgang Paul Prize” of Alexander von Humboldt, and then, from 2006, he moved  at the Astronomical Observatory of Padua, where he has served as Director since January 2018.

He conceived the design of the Wide Angle Camera on Rosetta, which was then realized and flew into the Solar System to explore a comet. In 1995 he carried out a year of research in the United States where he invented the pyramid wavefront sensor, subsequently used in several 8m class telescopes including VLT and LBT. Between 1995 and 1998 he was responsible for the construction of the first Adaptive Optics system in Italy, which was set up at the Galileo National Telescope.

In 2000 he published in Nature the first measurement of atmospheric turbulence in three dimensions and invented the atmospheric turbulence correction system called “layer oriented”. It conceived the correctors for the prime focus for LBT telescope (the Large Binocular Telescope) in Arizona,  25% of which is Italian property. Ragazzoni then built the atmospheric turbulence correction system called MAD and in 2007 this worked successfully at the Very Large Telescope, the largest European telescope currently, located on the Chilean Andes.

He was responsible for the alignment of the Italian large field telescope VST, also in Chile. He is the inventor and holder of a patent for the analysis of the aberrations of the human eye. Since 2003, he has been responsible for the NIRVANA early interferometer for the LBT telescope in Arizona, a collaboration between Italy and Germany.

He is the Instrument Scientist for telescopes on board PLATO and is appointed by ESA in the mission’s Science Team. It is Instrument Scientist of the telescope of the ESA CHEOPS mission and is part of the CHEOPS Consortium Board. He is part of the Project Science Team appointed by the ESO for the ELT telescope. Since 2004 he has held the course of “Laboratory of Astrophysics I” at the University of Padua at the Degree Course in Astronomy. From 2006 to 2008 he held the Course “Optical Instruments and their historical evolution” at the same University for the Degree Course in Ophthalmology. Winner of the Feltrinelli Prize of the Accademia dei Lincei in 2016, he is the author of over 300 publications, including one hundred in international journals with referees.