There is a strong demand for small foot-print high-flux hard X-rays machines in order to enable a large variety of science activities and serve a multidisciplinary user community. For this purpose, two compact Inverse Compton Sources (ICSs) are currently being developed in Italy. The most recent one is the Bright and Compact X-ray Source (BriXS) which has recently been proposed to produce very energetic X-rays (up to 180 keV) and high photon flux (up to 1013 photons/s with expected bandwidth of 1-10%). BriXS will be installed in Milan and it will enable advanced large area radiological imaging applications to be conducted with mono-chromatic X-rays, as well as allowing basic fundamental science of matter and health sciences at both pre- and clinical levels. Based on an energy-recovery linac (ERL) scheme and superconducting technology, BriXS will operate in CW regime with an unprecedented electron beam repetition rate of 100 MHz. The second Italian ICS light source is the Southern Europe Thomson back-scattering source for Applied Research (STAR) which is currently installed at the University of Calabria (UniCal). STAR is a compact machine that has been designed to produce monochromatic and tunable, ps-long, polarized X-ray beams in the range 40-140 keV with a photon flux up to 1010 photons/s and energy bandwidth below 10%. The electron beam injector is based on normal-conducting technology in S-Band with a repetition rate up to 100 Hz.
The SC RF group at INFN Milano-LASA is involved both in the TESLA/TTF collaboration and in the research and design activity on superconducting cavities for proton accelerators. Among these activities, some are supported by the European community within the CARE project. In the framework of the JRASRF collaboration we are developing a coaxial blade tuner for ILC (International Linear Collider) cavities, integrated with piezoelectric actuators for the
compensation of the Lorenz force detuning and microphonics perturbation. Another activity, regarding the improved component design on SC technology, based on the information retrieving about the status of art on ancillaries and experience of various laboratories involved in SCRF, has started in our laboratory. Finally, in the framework of the HIPPI collaboration, we are testing two low beta superconducting cavities, built for the Italian TRASCO project, to verify the possibility to use them for pulsed operation. All these activities will be described here, together with the main
results and the future perspectives.