The Fresnel imager space project

A new concept is being developed at IRAP (OMP Toulouse) for space telescopes, aiming to replace large solid mirrors with thin, light and flexible foils, punched by a large number of arc-shaped apertures. These “Fresnel arrays” focus light by diffraction through their numerous apertures and form highly contrasted images of astronomical sources when operated in space. They can operate at many wavelengths and they are corrected from chromatic aberration. We propose to use them in space for UV astrophysics : their high contrast and high angular resolution capabilities allows to address many science cases such as exoplanet formation and deep sky compact objects. The project has already been proposed to space agencies, yet without success for the moment. However, an increasingly large number of colleagues astrophysicists joins us to propose new science cases resolvable with such large and ultra-light space telescopes, so we have good hope for the future.

Artistic view of the Fresnel imager

Contact IRAP:  Laurent Koechlin

Plus d'actualités


One step closer into the heart of the X-IFU

A new video about the spectrometer X-IFU (X-ray Integral Field Unit) is now available. You will discover the heart of the instrument: its X-ray detection chain. The spectrometer X-IFU is […]



France delivers the NISP infrared spectrophotometer for the European space mission Euclid

After more than 10 years of design, manufacturing and testing, the Near Infrared SpectroPhotometer (NISP) was delivered to ESA on Monday 19 May 2020. It will be installed at the […]



Inequalities faced by women in access to permanent positions in astronomy in France

A recent national survey conducted by Olivier Berné and Alexia Hilaire of IRAP (Université Paul Sabatier de Toulouse and CNRS) on behalf of the Société Française d’Astronomie et d’Astrophysique (French […]