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26 September 2013 Alignment measurement and permanent mounting of thin lightweight x-ray mirror segments
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Current areas of intense research in astrophysics such as understanding evolution of the large scale structure of the universe, detection and measurement of dark matter, the evolution of stars, and other areas of research will greatly benefit from affordable X-ray telescopes capable of high angular resolution and large collecting area. One approach to building such X-ray optics is currently under development at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) by the Next Generation X-ray Optics (NGXO) group. The design requires precision alignment and permanent mounting of thin, lightweight mirror segments. Technology Development Modules (TDM’s) containing three aligned and permanently mounted glass segment pairs have been constructed and tested to demonstrate segment alignment and permanent mounting procedures meet initial performance goals as well as survivability requirements. Improvements to the mirror segment alignment and mounting process in the past year are presented along with associated TDM X-ray performance test results as the near term goal of 10 arc-second optics is pursued. Mirror segment distortion caused by gravity in the module test configuration is shown to be a significant contributor to recent X-ray resolution measurements. Initial testing of future generation hardware designed for 1 arc-second angular resolution X-ray optics is also presented along with a concept for a facility capable of testing optics with significantly reduced mirror segment distortion caused by gravity.
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Michael P. Biskach, Kai-Wing Chan, James R. Mazzarella, Ryan S. McClelland, Timo T. Saha, Mark J. Schofield, and William W. Zhang "Alignment measurement and permanent mounting of thin lightweight x-ray mirror segments", Proc. SPIE 8861, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VI, 88610Y (26 September 2013);

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