Spectroscopy and Photonics for Environmental Research and Earth Studies

The SPHERES group focuses on the development of optical techniques to be applied to environmental monitoring, diagnostics of industrial processes, and climatology.

It’s worth noting that these techniques and devices can be applied in other fields, like medical diagnostics, or study of cultural heritage, or holograpy.

The basic research is focused on the light-matter interaction from several points of view. The final aim is to apply the results to the development and deployment of new devices.

Our instruments can carry out both point measurements and remote measurements. Here “remote” means that the instruments are examining space regions far from themselves, but our instruments can often be operated remotely, e.g. unattended.

We deal with both active and passive sensors, which means that the targets (gas, liquid or solid sample) interact with light coming from the sensor itself, or from other sources, like the Sun.

Our  point analyzers, from UV to middle infrared, are designed for the detection of molecular concentrations or isotopic ratios. Remote instruments include LIDAR (UV to near infrared) to investigate dust, physiopatology of plants and status of the marine environment, and Fourier Transform Spectrometers (mid– to far-infrared), to probe the atmospheric composition and temperature.

Our instruments have been deployed all over the world in very different environments and platforms: laboratories, industrial plants, stratospheric aircraft, balloons, Antarctic bases, volcanoes.

We design ourselves and often produce inside INO-CNR the mechanics and the optics we need for our activity.