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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

X-ray telescope mirrors made of slumped glass sheets
Author(s): A. Winter; E. Breunig; P. Friedrich; L. Proserpio

Paper Abstract

For several decades, the field of X-ray astronomy has been playing a major role in understanding the processes in our universe. From binary stars and black holes up to galaxy clusters and dark matter, high energetic events have been observed and analysed using powerful X-ray telescopes like e.g. Rosat, Chandra, and XMM-Newton [1,2,3], giving us detailed and unprecedented views of the high-energy universe.

In November 2013, the theme of “The Hot and Energetic Universe” was rated as of highest importance for future exploration and in June 2014 the ATHENA Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics was selected by ESA for the second large science mission (L2) in the ESA Cosmic Vision program, with launch foreseen in 2028 [4]. By combining a large X-ray telescope with state-of-the-art scientific instruments, ATHENA will address key questions in astrophysics, including: How and why does ordinary matter assemble into the galaxies and galactic clusters that we see today? How do black holes grow and influence their surroundings?

In order to answer these questions, ATHENA needs a powerful mirror system which exceed the capabilities of current missions, especially in terms of collecting area. However, current technologies have reached the mass limits of the launching rocket, creating the need for more light-weight mirror systems in order to enhance the effective area without increasing the telescope mass. Hence new mirror technologies are being developed which aim for low-weight systems with large collecting areas. Light material like glass can be used, which are shaped to form an X-ray reflecting system via the method of thermal glass slumping.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 November 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10563, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014, 1056321 (17 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2304243
Show Author Affiliations
A. Winter, Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial Physics (Germany)
E. Breunig, Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial Physics (Germany)
P. Friedrich, Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial Physics (Germany)
L. Proserpio, Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial Physics (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10563:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014
Zoran Sodnik; Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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