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15 July 2008 Slumped glass option for making the XEUS mirrors: preliminary design and ongoing developments
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The XEUS mission (X-ray Evolving-Universe Spectroscopy Mission) of ESA, in the present configuration has a mirror collecting area in the order of 5-6 m2 @ 1 keV, 2 m2 @ 7 keV and 1 m2 @ 10 keV. These large collecting areas could be obtained with a mirror assembly composed of a large number of high quality segments each being able to deliver the angular resolution requested by the mission or better. The XEUS telescope will fit in the fairing of an Ariane 5 ECA launcher and hence its diameter is presently of about 4.5 m. The request in terms of angular resolution of the telescope has been set to 5 arcsec with a goal of 2 arcsec. Due to the large size of the optics it is impossible to create closed shells like those used for XMM or Chandra and hence it will be necessary to assemble a large number of segments (for example of ~0.6 m x ~0.3 m size) to recreate the mirror shells. These segments will form a module, an optical sub-unit of the telescope. The modules will be assembled to form the whole mirror system. As for all the space missions, the limits imposed on the payload mass budget by the launcher is the main driver that force the use of very lightweight optics and this request is of course very challenging. For example, the current design for XEUS foresees a geometric-area/mass ratio better than about 30 cm2/kg. In this article is illustrated a possible approach for the realization of large size and lightweight X-ray mirrors that derive from an experience gained from a previous work made in INAF-OAB on the thermal slumping of thin glass optics. The process foresees the use of a mould having a good optical figure but opposite shape respect to the segment to be slumped. On the mould is placed an initially flat glass sheet. With a suitable thermal cycle the glass sheet is conformed to the mould shape. Once tested for acceptance the glass sheet it is then integrated into a module by means of a robotic arm having a feedback system to confirm the correct alignment. A study on different optical geometries using the classical Wolter I and Kirkpatrick-Baez configurations has been also performed to investigate the theoretical performances obtainable with optics made using very thin glass shells.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
M. Ghigo, R. Canestrari, L. Proserpio, E. Dell'Orto, S. Basso, O. Citterio, G. Pareschi, and Giancarlo Parodi "Slumped glass option for making the XEUS mirrors: preliminary design and ongoing developments", Proc. SPIE 7011, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 70111F (15 July 2008);


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