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31 August 2009 Progress on the active alignment system for the IXO mirrors
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The next large x-ray astrophysics mission launched will likely include soft x-ray spectroscopy as a primary capability. A requirement to fulfill the science goals of such a mission is a large-area x-ray telescope focusing sufficient x-ray flux to perform high-resolution spectroscopy with reasonable observing times. The IXO soft x-ray telescope effort in the US is focused on a tightly nested, thin glass, segmented mirror design. Fabrication of the glass segments with the required surface accuracy is a fundamental challenge; equally challenging will be the alignment of the ~7000 secondary mirror segments with their corresponding primary mirrors, and co-alignment of the mirror pairs. We have developed a system to perform this alignment using a combination of a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) and a double-pass Hartmann test alignment system. We discuss the technique, its ability to correct low-order mirror errors, and results of a recent pair alignment including progress toward the required alignment accuracy of < 2 arcseconds. We then look forward toward its scalability to the task of building the IXO telescope.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Mark D. Freeman, Paul B. Reid, William Podgorski, and David Caldwell "Progress on the active alignment system for the IXO mirrors", Proc. SPIE 7437, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy IV, 74371E (31 August 2009);


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