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Design and modeling of an additive manufactured thin shell for x-ray astronomy
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Paper Abstract

Future X-ray astronomy missions require light-weight thin shells to provide large collecting areas within the weight limits of launch vehicles, whilst still delivering angular resolutions close to that of Chandra (0.5 arc seconds). Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, is a well-established technology with the ability to construct or ‘print’ intricate support structures, which can be both integral and light-weight, and is therefore a candidate technique for producing shells for space-based X-ray telescopes. The work described here is a feasibility study into this technology for precision X-ray optics for astronomy and has been sponsored by the UK Space Agency’s National Space Technology Programme. The goal of the project is to use a series of test samples to trial different materials and processes with the aim of developing a viable path for the production of an X-ray reflecting prototype for astronomical applications. The initial design of an AM prototype X-ray shell is presented with ray-trace modelling and analysis of the X-ray performance. The polishing process may cause print-through from the light-weight support structure on to the reflecting surface. Investigations in to the effect of the print-through on the X-ray performance of the shell are also presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10399, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VIII, 103991H (8 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2273422
Show Author Affiliations
Charlotte Feldman, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Carolyn Atkins, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
David Brooks, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Stephen Watson, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
William Cochrane, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Melanie Roulet, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
Richard Willingale, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Peter Doel, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10399:
Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VIII
Stephen L. O'Dell; Giovanni Pareschi, Editor(s)

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