Media Lario S.r.l., a world leader in high-precision optics and optical systems, has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) on behalf of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) for the X-ray optics of the Follow-up X-ray Telescope (FXT) of the space mission Einstein Probe.

Einstein Probe is a space telescope that will be launched in 2022 for time-domain X-ray astrophysics. The mission will carry out systematic sky monitoring surveys in the X-ray band, complemented by prompt and deep X-ray follow-up observations with the FXT optics provided by Media Lario. Its primary goals are to discover high-energy transients and monitor variable objects.

Einstein Probe leverages on the collaboration of several international partners. Media Lario will provide the FXT optics while the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) to provide the X-ray baffles and the X-ray acceptance facility. Besides coordinating these activities, ESA will coordinate crucial integration and scientific matters with CAS to ensure a successful launch and rewarding astrophysics observations.

Media Lario will be using its patented electroforming process where the mirrors are grown in an electrolytic bath with no traditional grinding or polishing and nested tightly in high-performance optical structures. Each FXT mirror module will be composed of 54 nested shells of approximately 0.3 mm thickness, with Wolter-I design (paraboloid and hyperboloid sections).

Media Lario has a long heritage in X-Ray space telescopes having enabled the Beppo-SAX, SWIFT, XMM Newton and eROSITA missions. Currently, Media Lario is developing the assembly and integration process for the ESA ATHENA large class X-Ray telescope mission.

Jeff Lyons, CEO of Media Lario, commented, “We are grateful to the Chinese Academy of Sciences for selecting Media Lario to provide the optics for the Einstein Probe and to ESA for all of their ongoing support and work on the mission. We look forward to working closely with both partners on this important scientific mission.”

Media Lario is located north of the industrial hub of Milan, Italy, in the region of Lombardia and Lake Como, an area rich with opto-mechanical expertise and experience in the precision optical industry.

Media Lario is an AIPAS Member since 2018.