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26 August 2005 Development of modular high-performance pore optics for the XEUS x-ray telescope
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The next generation astronomical X-ray telescopes (such as the X-ray Evolving Universe Spectroscopy mission XEUS) require extremely large collecting areas (effective area of ~10 m2 at 1 keV) in combination with good angular resolution of ~5" or better. The existing technologies such as polished glass and nickel electroforming would lead to excessively heavy and expensive optics, and/or are not able to produce the required large area. We have developed an entirely novel technology for producing X-ray optics which results in very light, stiff and modular optics. These can be assembled into almost arbitrarily large apertures and are perfectly suited for future astrophysics missions such as XEUS. Indeed this crucial technology ensures that the ambitious mission profile is actually feasible. The technology makes use of commercially available silicon wafers from the semiconductor industry. The latest generation of 12 inch silicon wafers have a surface roughness that is sufficiently low (~0.3 nm) for X-ray reflection, almost perfect mechanical properties and are considerably cheaper than other high-quality optical materials. The wafers are bent into an accurate cone and assembled to form a stiff pore structure. The resulting light and stiff modules, which we term a High-performance Pore Optics (HPO), form a small segment of a Wolter-I optic, and are easily assembled into a modular optic with large collecting area. We have implemented an automated production process of HPOs on laboratory scale and describe facilities developed with ESA at the Cosine Research Centre. We present the status of the production and the results obtained with this highly innovative technology.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
S. Kraft, M. Collon, R. Guenther, M. W. Beijersbergen, M. Bavdaz, D. H. Lumb, K. Wallace, A. Peacock, M. Krumrey, M. Hoffmann, P. Mueller, and V. Lehmann "Development of modular high-performance pore optics for the XEUS x-ray telescope", Proc. SPIE 5900, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy II, 590010 (26 August 2005);


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