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24 July 2014 Manufacture of aspherical molding dies for x-ray telescopes after ASTRO-H
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Producing X-ray imaging space telescopes is a very expensive endeavor, due in great part to the difficulty of fabricating thin mirrors for Wolter type-I optical assemblies. To meet this challenge, replication from optical molding dies (also called mandrels) has become the preferred method, as it is reliable and economical. Several replication methods exist: in the case of the ASTRO-H mission, DC magnetron sputtering was used to deposit Pt/C multilayer coating on glass molding dies. The multilayer coating was then bonded with epoxy to aluminum shells and then separated from the die. Another mirror replication method consists of slumping thin glass sheets over a full (or a section of) revolution molding die under high temperature. This method was demonstrated in the case of the NuSTAR mission.

But the challenge of fabricating truly aspheric Wolter type molding dies, which are capable of highly accurate angular resolution (below 5 arcs), remains very expensive and time consuming. In this paper, three methods for producing X-ray optic molding dies are presented. Each method uses a different substrate material and process chain, as follows: electroless nickel plated aluminum (first diamond turned then correctively polished), fused silica (first precision ground then correctively polished), and CVD silicon carbide (which can be finished entirely with a newly developed Shape Adaptive Grinding process). The process chains employed for each method are explained in details, and their relative merits discussed. A way forward for the next generation of X-ray telescopes after ASTRO-H is then drawn out.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Yoshiharu Namba, Anthony Beaucamp, Hironori Matsumoto, Keisuke Tamura, Yuzuru Tawara, Hideyo Kunieda, and Tadayuki Takahashi "Manufacture of aspherical molding dies for x-ray telescopes after ASTRO-H", Proc. SPIE 9144, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 91444F (24 July 2014);


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