Technology Development for Ultra-High-Resolution X-ray Optics

Metadata Updated: November 12, 2020

Readiness of the fabrication method is needed to justify future NASA astrophysics & heliophysics Missions.We propose to develop a novel optics fabrication method capable of fulfilling this demand for high-resolution, large-effective-area, affordable x-ray optics.The intent is to change the optical fabrication philosophy by starting the process with naturally-flat, thin silicon wafers and form them into very-light-weight, sub-arcsecond-resolution mirrors to be installed into a telescope structure The goal of this proposed study is to demonstrate viability of a novel optics fabrication method that would ultimately make high-resolution, very large effective area x-ray optics affordable. The scientific community desires sub-arcsecond angular resolution and few-square-meter-effective-area x-ray optics for future large, and mid size NASA missions. This means that future x-ray telescopes must have the same or better angular resolution and more than order of magnitude larger effective area than the Chandra Observatory, but within manageable cost budgets and mass limits. Since the cost to build the Chandra optics (0.25 arcsecond resolution and 0.08 sq. m. effective area) was $0.5 billion in 1999 prices, the use of the traditional figuring and polishing techniques to fabricate the x-ray optics for future high-resolution, large effective area instruments are cost prohibitive. Thus, the astronomical x-ray optics fabrication philosophy needs to be changed to meet the scientific community expectations. Currently, the conventional approach to building light-weight, low-cost, large-effective-area x-ray optics is to trade off angular resolution for increased mirror area through replication techniques. In these, thin optics are obtained by replication from super-polished and figured masters, then aligned and assembled into a telescope structure. During the replication process, which is done at MSFC via electroforming, small stresses are always imparted in to the shell. Separation of the thin replica from the master leads to releasing of this stress, which then results in unwanted figure deformations of the replica surface. Further, localized forces at the support points introduce additional surface deformations during the replica optics alignment process. As a result, the state-of-the-art performance for replicated optics is currently about 10 arcsecond angular resolution. Another approach to building up effective area for x-ray telescopes is to use so-called pore optics.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

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Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier Unknown
Identifier TECHPORT_10764
Data First Published 2012-09-01
Data Last Modified 2020-01-29
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Homepage URL
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 105348116c738d3f38ab26110209f480e336e978
Source Schema Version 1.1

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