13 September 2012 Development of full shell foil x-ray mirrors
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Abstract
NICER will use full shell aluminum foil X-ray mirrors, similar to those that are currently being developed for the optics to be used for the XACT sounding rocket mission. Similar X-ray optics have been produced at Goddard Space Flight Center since the late 1970's. The mirror geometry used in the past and on some present missions consists of concentric quadrant shell mirrors with a conical approximation to the Wolter 1 geometry. For XACT, we are developing the next generation of these optics. Two innovations introduced in the mirrors are complete shells with a curve is in the reflectors' profile to produce a sharper focus than a conical approximation. X-ray imagers, such as those of Suzaku, ASCA, GEMS, and Astro-H require two reflections. Since XACT and NICER are using the optics as X-ray concentrators rather than full imaging optics, only one set of reflections is necessary. The largest shell in the NICER concentrator is 10cm diameter. Small diameter optics benefit from the rigidity of the full shell design. Also, the simplified support hardware reduced mass, which increases the effective area per unit mass. With 56 optics on NICER, each consisting of 24 full shell mirrors, an effective production process is needed for efficient manufacture of these mirrors. This production process is based on heritage techniques but modified for these new mirrors. This paper presents the production process of the innovative full shell optics and also results of optical and X-ray tests of the integrated optics.
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Erin Balsamo, Keith C. Gendreau, Zaven Arzoumanian, Lalit Jalota, Steven J. Kenyon, David Fickau, Nicholas Spartana, Devin Hahne, Richard Koenecke, Yang Soong, Peter Serlemitsos, Takashi Okajima, Robert Campion, Louis Detweiler, "Development of full shell foil x-ray mirrors", Proc. SPIE 8450, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 845052 (13 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926152; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.926152
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