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11 March 2003 Development of hard x-ray optics at MSFC
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We are fabricating optics for the hard-x-ray region using electroform nickel replication. The attraction of this process, which has been widely used elsewhere, is that the resulting full shell optics are inherently stable and thus can have very good angular resolution. The challenge with this process is to develop lightweight optics, and to keep down the costs of mandrel fabrication. We accomplished the former through the development of high-strength, low-stress nickel alloys that permit very thin, stable, shells without fabrication- and handling-induced deformations. For the latter, we have utilized inexpensive grinding and diamond turning to figure the mandrels and then purpose-built polishing machines to finish the surface. In-house plating tanks and a simple water-bath separation system complete the process. To date we have built shells ranging in size from 5 cm diameter to 50 cm, and with thickness down to 100 micron. For our HERO balloon program, we are fabricating over 200 iridium-coated shells, 250 microns thick, for hard-x-ray imaging up to 75 keV. Early test results on these have indicated half-power-diameters of 15 arcsec. The status of these developments will be reviewed.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Brian D. Ramsey, Ronald F. Elsner, Darell E. Engelhaupt, Stephen L. O'Dell, Chet O. Speegle, and Martin C. Weisskopf "Development of hard x-ray optics at MSFC", Proc. SPIE 4851, X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Telescopes and Instruments for Astronomy, (11 March 2003);


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