Optical Systems and Birefringent Optics

We perform the process of research, development, and realization of optical systems and birefringent optical elements. First, complex optical and optoelectronical systems are designed using dedicated software. Next, the systems are analyzed with respect to such criteria as overall tolerance budget, ensuring the manufacturability of individual components and their stability, which is a prerequisite for achieving the desired performance. Finally, systems optimized in this way are realized in our laboratories.

Specialization in birefringent (crystalline) optics has its origin in the work of our emeritus colleague Dr. Ivan Šolc, the inventor of the unique polarization-interference monochromatic filter. He devoted most of his life to this field of optics.

Team and equipment

  • highly qualified researchers and engineers with long-term experience in industry cooperation
  • Ph.D. and MSc. students who explore this topic in their theses
  • state-of-the-art measurement and simulation devices (e.g. real-time interferometry, computer-controlled auto-collimation station for alignment, 3D ultra-precise CMM stations, x-ray goniometer)
  • dedicated devices designed and realized by our team


Research in our department is divided into the following areas:

  • engineering and realization of astronomical telescopes for both space and ground operations
  • elements and comprehensive optical systems design
  • engineering and realization of systems for optical diagnostics
  • analysis and production of unique birefringent optical elements
  • manufacturing of high-precision mandrels for x-ray optics
  • development of experimental devices dedicated to various optical methods or optical system alignment


  • Optical system of the ASPIICS coronagraph telescope (Association de Satellite Pour l'Imagerie et l'Interferometrie de la Couronne Solaire) for the PROBA 3 mission PDF (0.7 MB)
  • “Fly-Eye” optics for the NEOSTEL telescope (Near Earth Object Survey TELescope) PDF (0.8 MB)
  • New-generation of laser processing optics PDF (0.7 MB)
  • Šolc filters for solar corona observation

We have successfully completed such projects as the New Type of Wide-Angle X-Ray Optics for Satellite Astrophysics grant project or targeted research of the Grant Agency of the CAS, which resulted in the realization of a unique Solc-like filter for solar research in Calcium K-line as well as of a tunable narrow-band filter for observing the solar corona in several astronomically interesting spectral lines. We also participated in the METIS project by producing two special mirrors for the Solar Orbiter mission operated by the European Space Agency.


  • Universities: Palacký University in Olomouc, Charles University in Prague (FMP), Czech Technical University in Prague, Technical University in Liberec, and others.
  • Companies and Institutions: Institute of Physics of the CAS, Czech Aeronautic Research Centre, a.s., LaserTherm, s.r.o., SQS Fiber Optics, s.r.o., Rigaku Innovative Technologies Europe, s.r.o., European Space Agency (Netherlands), OHB Italia S.p.A (Italy), Siemens AG (Germany), CERN (Switzerland), INFN (Italy) and others.


Radek Melich, Ph.D.
Tel.: +420 487 953 917
Mob.: +420 776 783 952
Email: melichr@ipp.cas.cz