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Proceedings Paper

Toward active x-ray telescopes II
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Paper Abstract

In the half century since the initial discovery of an astronomical (non-solar) x-ray source, the observation time required to achieve a given sensitivity has decreased by eight orders of magnitude. Largely responsible for this dramatic progress has been the refinement of the (grazing-incidence) focusing x-ray telescope, culminating with the exquisite subarcsecond imaging performance of the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The future of x-ray astronomy relies upon the development of x-ray telescopes with larger aperture areas (< 1 m2) and comparable or finer angular resolution (< 1″). Combined with the special requirements of grazing-incidence optics, the mass and envelope constraints of space-borne telescopes render such advances technologically challenging—requiring precision fabrication, alignment, and assembly of large areas (< 200 m2) of lightweight (≈ 1 kg m-2 areal density) mirrors. Achieving precise and stable alignment and figure control may entail active (in-space adjustable) x-ray optics. This paper discusses relevant programmatic and technological issues and summarizes current progress toward active x-ray telescopes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 October 2012
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8503, Adaptive X-Ray Optics II, 850307 (15 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.930090
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen L. O'Dell, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Thomas L. Aldcroft, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Carolyn Atkins, 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)
Raegan L. Johnson-Wilke, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Jeffery J. Kolodziejczak, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Charles F. Lillie, Lillie Consulting (United States)
Alan G. Michette, King's College London (United Kingdom)
Brian D. Ramsey, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Paul B. Reid, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)
Daniel Rodriguez Sanmartin, Univ. of Brighton (United Kingdom)
Timo T. Saha, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Daniel A. Schwartz, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Susan E. Trolier-McKinstry, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Melville P. Ulmer, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Rudeger H. T. Wilke, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Richard Willingale, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
William W. Zhang, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8503:
Adaptive X-Ray Optics II
Ali M. Khounsary; Stephen L. O'Dell; Thomas G. Bifano, Editor(s)

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