Research and Development

The most competitive area for FRACTAL is the development of engineering projects with scientific goals. This is due to the professional and academic background of FRACTAL staff. To work in these projects the close collaboration between our company and the universities and research centers becomes essential, establishing important synergies. FRACTAL SLNE is actively collaborating in some R+D projects:


VIENTOS: a feasibility study of innovative pupil systems for the new generation of instruments in the large telescopes
The goal of VIENTOS project is to analyze pupil innovative systems that could be used in the new generation of instruments for the large telescopes. This study tries to identify the current scientific needs, to understand why some of them have not been fulfilled yet (due to pre-conceived technical ideas or to managerial reasons) and to propose opto-mechanical solutions for these pupil elements that could produce a qualitative leap in the performance of the instruments to operate in the large telescopes. VIENTOS is currently on-going as a collaborative project between FRACTAL and the University Complutense of Madrid (UCM) and is being partially granted by a CDTI grant under the program Industry for Science (project IDC-20101106). CDTI is the Development and Industrial Transfer Center from the Minister of Science and Innovation - Spain). Among the different innovative systems studied the team has explored potential solution for narrow band Imaging with tunable filters in the near-IR, a novel pupil system called sliced-pupil grating for increasing the spectral resolution without changing the geometry of the main Optics and the use of nanotechnology customized filters for Imaging.
Coordination: FRACTAL

Feasibility Study for the design and characterization of high resolution gratings
The goal of this project was to carry out a study on high spectral resolution gratings, its demand in the professional astrophysical instrumentation market and the feasibility of reaching high resolution with the use of VPH gratings and a simple geometry. This Project (04-AEC-0913-000022/2009) was co-funded by FRACTAL, the Local Government of Madrid with the support of the European Regional Funds for the innovation in the aero spatial sector of Madrid, and the University Complutense of Madrid (under the project AyA-10368).
In particular the following tasks were carried out:
  • To carry out a market study on possible solutions to produce high spectral resolution, R > 10.000, up to 30.000. This goal was to explore which possibilities were already available in the market.
  • To study the scientific requirements for high resolution spectroscopic gratings in the astronomical professional market, for both Space missions and large ground-based infrastructures like the GTC 10m telescope or the future E-ELT telescope.
  • To design a prototype of a high spectral resolution grating, VPH-based, that allow to reach two technical goals:

    • Running the system in Littrow configuration, allowing the grating to be placed in the collimated beam without changing the geometry.
    • Getting high spectral resolution without changing the spectrograph‘s collimator-camera configuration.

Coordination: FRACTAL


Astrophysics and Technological Developments in Madrid (funded by the Regional Government). The goal of this project is to create a multi-disciplinary group that can benefit from the synergies between Public Research Centers and Private Engineering Companies located in Madrid to optimize the development of astronomical instruments for the Scientific Community.
Coordination: Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC).


Scientific Instrumentation Development (Research Centers and Universities in Madrid)
Coordination: Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Partnership for Scientific exploitation of the GTC 10-m telescope(R+D center and universities in Spain, Mexico and University of Florida)
Coordination: Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias