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

Metadata Updated: February 28, 2019

Readiness of the fabrication method is needed to justify future NASA astrophysics [HTML_REMOVED] 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: U.S. Government Work

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Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 28, 2019

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Harvested from NASA Data.json

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Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 28, 2019
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_10764
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
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Harvest Object Id 0b6b0071-1cf4-4a49-ad71-482f8070edc2
Harvest Source Id 39e4ad2a-47ca-4507-8258-852babd0fd99
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2012-09-01
Homepage URL
Data Last Modified 2018-07-19
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 5918599c09c7425c9801024b3242185e05b4edcb
Source Schema Version 1.1

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