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24 July 2014 Preparing the optics technology to observe the hot universe
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With the selection of “The hot and energetic Universe” as science theme for ESA's second large class mission (L2) in the Cosmic Vision programme, work is focusing on the technology preparation for an advanced X-ray observatory. The core enabling technology for the high performance mirror is the Silicon Pore Optics (SPO) [1 to 23], a modular X-ray optics technology, which utilises processes and equipment developed for the semiconductor industry. The paper provides an overview of the programmatic background, the status of SPO technology and gives an outline of the development roadmap and activities undertaken and planned by ESA on optics, coatings [24 to 30] and test facilities [31, 33].
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