29 August 2017 Additive manufactured x-ray optics for astronomy
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Abstract
Additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing, has become a commercially established technology for rapid prototyping and the fabrication of bespoke intricate parts. Optical components, such as mirrors and lenses, are now being fabricated via additive manufacturing, where the printed substrate is polished in a post-processing step. One application of additively manufactured optics could be within the astronomical X-ray community, where there is a growing need to demonstrate thin, lightweight, high precision optics for a beyond Chandra style mission. This paper will follow a proof-of-concept investigation, sponsored by the UK Space Agency’s National Space Technology Programme, into the feasibility of applying additive manufacturing in the production of thin, lightweight, precision X-ray optics for astronomy. One of the benefits of additive manufacturing is the ability to construct intricate lightweighting, which can be optimised to minimise weight while ensuring rigidity. This concept of optimised lightweighting will be applied to a series of polished additively manufactured test samples and experimental data from these samples, including an assessment of the optical quality and the magnitude of any print-through, will be presented. In addition, the finite element analysis optimisations of the lightweighting development will be discussed.
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Carolyn Atkins, Charlotte Feldman, David Brooks, Stephen Watson, William Cochrane, Melanie Roulet, Peter Doel, Richard Willingale, Emmanuel Hugot, "Additive manufactured x-ray optics for astronomy", Proc. SPIE 10399, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VIII, 103991G (29 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2274011; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2274011
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