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Paper Abstract

Future x-ray observatories will require high-resolution (< 1") optics with very-large-aperture (> 25 m2) areas. Even with the next generation of heavy-lift launch vehicles, launch-mass constraints and aperture-area requirements will limit the areal density of the grazing-incidence mirrors to about 1 kg/m2 or less. Achieving sub-arcsecond x-ray imaging with such lightweight mirrors will require excellent mirror surfaces, precise and stable alignment, and exceptional stiffness or deformation compensation. Attaining and maintaining alignment and figure control will likely involve active (in-space adjustable) x-ray optics. In contrast with infrared and visible astronomy, active optics for x-ray astronomy is in its infancy. In the middle of the past decade, two efforts began to advance technologies for adaptive x-ray telescopes: The Smart X-ray Optics (SXO) Basic Technology project in the United Kingdom (UK) and the Generation-X (Gen-X) concept studies in the United States (US). This paper discusses relevant technological issues and summarizes progress toward active x-ray telescopes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 October 2011
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 8147, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy V, 81471Q (12 October 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.896458
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen L. O'Dell, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Carolyn Atkins, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
The Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)
Timothy W. Button, The Univ. of Birmingham (United Kingdom)
Vincenzo Cotroneo, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
William N. Davis, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Peter Doel, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Charlotte H. Feldman, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Mark D. Freeman, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Mikhail V. Gubarev, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Jeffery J. Kolodziejczak, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Alan G. Michette, King's College London (United Kingdom)
Brian D. Ramsey, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Paul B. Reid, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Daniel Rodriguez Sanmartin, The Univ. of Birmingham (United Kingdom)
Timo T. Saha, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Daniel A. Schwartz, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Susan Trolier-McKinstry, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Rudeger H. T. Wilke, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Grinnell College (United States)
Richard Willingale, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
William W. Zhang, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8147:
Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy V
Stephen L. O'Dell; Giovanni Pareschi, Editor(s)

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