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11 March 2003 X-ray Optics: new technologies at ESA
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In the Science Payload Technology Division of the European Space Agency X-ray optics are being developed for space based astrophysics observatories and planetary missions. Due to the gazing incidence geometries required in the x-ray regions of interest, and the high angular resolutions required, the mass of the optics becomes a major driver in mission design. New technologies have to be explored for future applications, simultaneously achieving good angular resolution and low mass while maintaining collecting aperture. The cosmology mission XEUS requires very large effective area, 30m2 at 1keV, x-ray optics with high angular resolution of below 5" with a goal of 2". This implies a large aperture for a single telescope system, which will necessarily require assembly or deployment in space, and which will be formed by basic mirror modules known as petals. The petals must remain compatible with compact ground handling and production tools and will require minimum modifications to existing calibration facilities. The technology for the implementation of this Wolter-I design is currently based on the European heritage of x-ray optics development and production, dating back to Exosat, launched in 1983, to the currently operating XMM-Newton observatory. Substantial further research and development is required, however, with the key aspects therefore being low mass design and industrialization of the production. New approaches are being considered in parallel to evolutions of the current state-of-the-art technologies. In addition to the XEUS mission optics options, extremely low mass Wolter-I optics are being developed for applications in very deep orbits or planetary remote sensing, having even stronger mass constraints, but having a more relaxed angular resolution requirement. Such optics systems feature dramatically reduced mirror thickness and therefore mass. The current state of development of the ultra-lightweight x-ray optics systems will be presented together with future development plans.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Marcos Bavdaz, Anthony J. Peacock, Volker Lehmann, Marco W. Beijersbergen, and Stefan Kraft "X-ray Optics: new technologies at ESA", Proc. SPIE 4851, X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Telescopes and Instruments for Astronomy, (11 March 2003);


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