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Proceedings Paper

Miniature lightweight x-ray optics (MiXO) for solar system exploration
Author(s): J. Hong; S. Romaine
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Paper Abstract

Over the last few decades, grazing incidence X-ray optics have been a pivotal tool for advances in X-ray astronomy. They have been successfully employed in many great observatories such as ROSAT, Chandra X-ray Observatory and XMM-Newton. In planetary science, X-ray observations of Solar system objects are a great tool to understand the nature of the target bodies and the evolutionary history of the Solar system as a whole. To date, X-ray observations in near-target planetary missions have been limited to collimator-based instruments due to tight mass and volume constraints, arising from the multi-instrument nature of planetary missions. In addition, unlike observations of astrophysical sources at virtually infinite distances, near-target observations of planetary bodies introduce a unique set of challenges. While true focusing X-ray optics can overcome these challenges, a practical implementation of focusing X-ray optics for planetary missions depends on the feasibility of compact lightweight X-ray optics. We review scientific motivations for X-ray observations of planetary bodies and illustrate the unique challenges encountered in planetary missions through a few examples. We introduce a new metal-ceramic hybrid technology for X-ray mirrors that can enable compact lightweight Wolter-I X-ray optics suitable for resource limited planetary missions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 2014
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9144, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 91441F (24 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056657
Show Author Affiliations
J. Hong, Harvard Univ. (United States)
S. Romaine, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9144:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Tadayuki Takahashi; Jan-Willem A. den Herder; Mark Bautz, Editor(s)

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