15 June 2006 Active x-ray optics for Generation-X: the next high resolution x-ray observatory
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Abstract
X-rays provide one of the few bands through which we can study the epoch of reionization, when the first galaxies, black holes and stars were born. To reach the sensitivity required to image these first discrete objects in the universe needs a major advance in X-ray optics. Generation-X (Gen-X) is currently the only X-ray astronomy mission concept that addresses this goal. Gen-X aims to improve substantially on the Chandra angular resolution and to do so with substantially larger effective area. These two goals can only be met if a mirror technology can be developed that yields high angular resolution at much lower mass/unit area than the Chandra optics, matching that of Constellation-X (Con-X). We describe an approach to this goal based on active X-ray optics that correct the mid-frequency departures from an ideal Wolter optic on-orbit. We concentrate on the problems of sensing figure errors, calculating the corrections required, and applying those corrections. The time needed to make this in-flight calibration is reasonable. A laboratory version of these optics has already been developed by others and is successfully operating at synchrotron light sources. With only a moderate investment in these optics the goals of Gen-X resolution can be realized.
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Martin Elvis, R. J. Brissenden, G. Fabbiano, D. A. Schwartz, P. Reid, W. Podgorski, M. Eisenhower, M. Juda, J. Phillips, L. Cohen, S. Wolk, "Active x-ray optics for Generation-X: the next high resolution x-ray observatory", Proc. SPIE 6266, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation II: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 62661K (15 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.672072; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.672072
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