Future high energy astrophysics missions will require high performance novel X-ray optics to explore the Universe beyond the limits of the currently operating Chandra and Newton observatories. Innovative optics technologies are therefore being developed and matured by the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with research institutions and industry, enabling leading-edge future science missions.
Silicon Pore Optics (SPO) [1 to 21] and Slumped Glass Optics (SGO) [22 to 29] are lightweight high performance X-ray optics technologies being developed in Europe, driven by applications in observatory class high energy astrophysics missions, aiming at angular resolutions of 5” and providing effective areas of one or more square meters at a few keV.
This paper reports on the development activities led by ESA, and the status of the SPO and SGO technologies, including progress on high performance multilayer reflective coatings [30 to 35]. In addition, the progress with the X-ray test facilities and associated beam-lines is discussed .