6 October 2011 High-resolution solar imaging with a photon sieve
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Abstract
Dissipation in the solar corona is expected to occur in extremely thin current sheets of order 1-100 km. Emission from these current sheets should be visible in coronal EUV emission lines. However, this spatial scale is far below the resolution of existing imaging instruments. Conventional optics cannot be easily manufactured with sufficient surface figure accuracy to obtain the required < 0.1 arcsec resolution. A photon sieve, a diffractive imaging element similar to a Fresnel zone plate, can be manufactured to provide a few 0.001 arcsec resolution, with much more relaxed tolerances than conventional imaging technology. A simple design for a sounding rocket payload is presented that obtains 80 mas (0.080 arcsec) imaging with a 100 mm diameter photon sieve to image Fe XIV 334 and Fe XVI 335. These images will not only show the structure of the corona at a resolution never before obtained, they will also allow a study of the temperature structure in the dissipation region.
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Joseph M. Davila, "High-resolution solar imaging with a photon sieve", Proc. SPIE 8148, Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation IV, 81480O (6 October 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.898956; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.898956
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