Silicon Pore Optics (SPO) provide a high angular resolution with a low areal density as required for future X-ray telescopes for high energy astrophysics. We present progress in two areas of ESA’s SPO development activities: Stray light baffling and environmental qualification.
Residual stray light originating from off-axis sources or the sky background can be blocked by placing suitable baffles in front of the mirror modules. We developed two different mechanical implementations. The first uses longer, tapered mirror plates which improve the stray light rejection without the need of mounting additional parts to the modules or the telescope. The second method is based on placing a sieve plate in front of the optics. We compare both methods in terms of baffling performance using ray-tracing simulations and present test results of prototype mirror modules.
Any optics for space telescopes needs to be compliant with the harsh conditions of the launch and in-orbit operation. We present new work in improving the mechanical and thermal ruggedness of SPO mirror modules and show recent results of qualification level tests, including tests of modules with externally mounted sieve plate baffles.