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25 July 2014 X-ray optical units made of glass: achievements and perspectives
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Future X-ray telescopes with very large collecting area, like the proposed Athena with more than 2 m2 effective area at 1 keV, need to be realized as assemblies of a large number of X-ray optical units, named X-ray Optical Units (XOUs). The Brera Astronomical Observatory (INAF-OAB) is developing a new technology to manufacture these modular elements, compatible with an angular resolution of 5 arcsec HEW (Half-Energy-Width). This technique consists in stacking in a Wolter-I configuration several layers of thin foils of glass, previously formed by direct hot slumping. The achievable global angular resolution of the optics relies on the required surface shape accuracy of slumped foils, on the smoothness of the mirror surfaces and on the correct integration and co-alignment of the mirror segments operated trough a dedicated Integration Machine (IMA). In this paper we provide an overview of the project development, reporting on the very promising results achieved so far, including in-focus full illumination X-ray tests of the prototype (Proof of Concept, POC#2, integrated at the beginning of 2013) for which an HEW of 22.1’’ has been measured at Panter/MPE. Moreover we report on the on-going activities, with a new integrated prototype (PoC#3). X-ray test in pencil beam revealed that at least a segment between two external ribs is characterized by an HEW well below 10’’. Lastly, the overall process up-grade to go from 20 m to 12m focal length (to be compatible with Athena+ configuration) is presented.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
M. Civitani, S. Basso, M. Ghigo, G. Pareschi, B. Salmaso, D. Spiga, G. Tagliaferri, G. Vecchi, V. Burwitz, G. D. Hartner, and B. Menz "X-ray optical units made of glass: achievements and perspectives", Proc. SPIE 9144, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 914416 (25 July 2014);


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