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Proceedings Paper

Critical-angle transmission grating spectrometer for high-resolution soft x-ray spectroscopy on the International X-ray Observatory
Author(s): Ralf K. Heilmann; John E. Davis; Daniel Dewey; Mark W. Bautz; Rick Foster; Alex Bruccoleri; Pran Mukherjee; David Robinson; David P. Huenemoerder; Herman L. Marshall; Mark L. Schattenburg; Norbert S. Schulz; L. Jay Guo; Alex F. Kaplan; Russell B. Schweikart
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Paper Abstract

High-resolution spectroscopy at energies below 1 keV covers the lines of C, N, O, Ne and Fe ions, and is central to studies of the Interstellar Medium, the Warm Hot Intergalactic Medium, warm absorption and outflows in Active Galactic Nuclei, coronal emission from stars, etc. The large collecting area, long focal length, and 5 arcsecond half power diameter telescope point-spread function of the International X-ray Observatory will present unprecedented opportunity for a grating spectrometer to address these areas at the forefront of astronomy and astrophysics. We present the current status of a transmission grating spectrometer based on recently developed high-efficiency critical-angle transmission (CAT) gratings that combine the traditional advantages of blazed reflection and transmission gratings. The optical design places light-weight grating arrays close to the telescope mirrors, which maximizes dispersion distance and thus spectral resolution and minimizes demands on mirror performance. It merges features from the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer and the XMM-Newton Reflection Grating Spectrometer, and provides resolving power R = E/ΔE = 3000 - 5000 (full width half max) and effective area >1000 cm2 in the soft x-ray band. We discuss recent results on ray-tracing and optimization of the optical design, instrument configuration studies, and grating fabrication.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7732, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 77321J (29 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856482
Show Author Affiliations
Ralf K. Heilmann, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
John E. Davis, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Daniel Dewey, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Mark W. Bautz, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Rick Foster, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Alex Bruccoleri, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Pran Mukherjee, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
David Robinson, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
David P. Huenemoerder, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Herman L. Marshall, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Mark L. Schattenburg, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Norbert S. Schulz, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
L. Jay Guo, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Alex F. Kaplan, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Russell B. Schweikart, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7732:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Monique Arnaud; Stephen S. Murray; Tadayuki Takahashi, Editor(s)

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