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STIX for Solar Orbiter

The Spectrometer / Telescope for Imaging X-ray is a telescope to make images of solar flares. It is part of the ESA spacecraft Solar Orbiter.



Development of an X-ray imaging spectrometer to explore the heliosphere.


The ESA mission Solar Orbiter is designed to study the solar atmosphere in situ. One of the ten instruments on board is STIX (Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays). The X-ray telescope will simultaneously make images and spectra of the solar flares where the solar wind originates in the inner heliosphere.

Project summary

The project team has developed a space qualified X-ray spectrometer that meets the high qualification needs of aerospace. At the core of STIX is a set of grids pairs that are mounted one behind the other in order to create a Moiré-pattern. This specific pattern allows to find out from where the X-rays originate and from this information reconstruct the image of the solar flare.. The smallest grids have slits that are just 20 micrometres fine.


Client European Space Agency ESA
Execution FHNW Institute for Data Science; FHNW Institute of Product- and Productionengineering
Partner Paul Scherrer Institut, ETH Zürich, Art of Technology, Kögl Space GmbH
Duration 7 Years
Sponsorship ESA PRODEX, Swiss Space Office

Prof. Dr. Säm Krucker (PI), Prof. Dr. Arnold Benz, Dr. Diego Casadei, Prof. Dr. André Csillaghy, László István Etesi, Simon Felix, Dr. Oliver Grimm, Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Gröbelbauer, Nicky Hochmuth, Dr.Gordon Hurford, Dr. Lucia Kleint, Dr. Francesca Molendini, Dominic Schori

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