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 SPARX project consists in an X-ray-FEL facility jointly supported by MIUR (Research Department of Italian
Government), Regione Lazio, CNR, ENEA, INFN and Rome University Tor Vergata. It is the natural extension of the
ongoing activities of the SPARC collaboration. The aim is the generation of electron beams characterized by ultra-high
peak brightness at the energy of 1 and 2 GeV, for the first and the second phase respectively. The beam is expected to
drive a single pass FEL experiment in the range of 13.5-6 nm and 6-1.5 nm, at 1 GeV and 2 GeV respectively, both in
SASE and SEEDED FEL configurations. A hybrid scheme of RF and magnetic compression will be adopted, based on
the expertise achieved at the SPARC high brightness photoinjector presently under commissioning at Frascati INFNLNF
Laboratories. The use of superconducting and exotic undulator sections will be also exploited. In this paper we
report the progress of the collaboration together with start to end simulation results based on a combined scheme of RF
SPARC and SPARX are two different initiatives toward an X-ray FEL SASE source at LNF. SPARC is a high gain FEL
project devoted to provide a source of visible and VUV radiation while exploiting SASE mechanism. An advanced
Photo-Injector system, emittance self-compensating RF-gun plus a 150 MeV Linac, will inject a high quality e-beam into
the undulator to generate high brilliance FEL radiation in the visible region at the fundamental wavelength, (530 nm).
The production of flat top drive laser beams, high peak current bunches, and an emittance compensation scheme will be
investigated together with the generation of higher harmonic radiation in the VUV region. SPARX is the direct evolution
of such a high gain SASE FEL towards the 13.5 and 1.5 nm operating wavelengths, at 2.5 GeV. The first phase of the
SPARX project, fiinded by Government Agencies, will be focused on R&D activity on critical components and
techniques for future X-ray facilities as described in this paper.