8 September 2017 Design and modeling of an additive manufactured thin shell for x-ray astronomy
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Abstract
Future X-ray astronomy missions require light-weight thin shells to provide large collecting areas within the weight limits of launch vehicles, whilst still delivering angular resolutions close to that of Chandra (0.5 arc seconds). Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, is a well-established technology with the ability to construct or ‘print’ intricate support structures, which can be both integral and light-weight, and is therefore a candidate technique for producing shells for space-based X-ray telescopes. The work described here is a feasibility study into this technology for precision X-ray optics for astronomy and has been sponsored by the UK Space Agency’s National Space Technology Programme. The goal of the project is to use a series of test samples to trial different materials and processes with the aim of developing a viable path for the production of an X-ray reflecting prototype for astronomical applications. The initial design of an AM prototype X-ray shell is presented with ray-trace modelling and analysis of the X-ray performance. The polishing process may cause print-through from the light-weight support structure on to the reflecting surface. Investigations in to the effect of the print-through on the X-ray performance of the shell are also presented.
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Charlotte Feldman, Carolyn Atkins, David Brooks, Stephen Watson, William Cochrane, Melanie Roulet, Richard Willingale, Peter Doel, "Design and modeling of an additive manufactured thin shell for x-ray astronomy", Proc. SPIE 10399, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VIII, 103991H (8 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2273422; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2273422
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