17 August 2016 Beyond Chandra (towards the X-ray Surveyor mission): possible solutions for the implementation of very high angular resolution X-ray telescopes in the new millennium based on fused silica segments
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Abstract
An important challenge for the X-ray astronomy of the new millennium is represented by the implementation of an Xray telescope able to maintain the exquisite angular resolution of Chandra (with a sub-arcsec HEW, on-axis) but, at the same time, being characterized by a much larger throughput and grasp. A mission with similar characteristics is represented by the X-ray Surveyor Mission. The project has been recently proposed in USA and is being currently studied by NASA. It will host an X-ray telescope with an effective area of more than 2 square meters at 1 keV (i.e. 30 times greater than Chandra) and a 15-arcminutes field-of-view, with 1-arcsecond or better half-power diameter (versus the 4 arcmin diameter of Chandra). While the scientific reasons for implementing a similar mission are clear, being related to compelling problems like e.g. the formation and subsequent growth of black hole seeds at very high redshift or the identification of the first galaxy groups and proto-clusters, the realization of a grazing-angle optics system able to fulfil these specs remain highly challenging. Different technologies are being envisaged, like e.g. the use of adjustable segmented mirrors (with use of piezoelectric or magneto-restrictive film actuators on the back surface) or the direct polishing of a variety of thin substrates or the use of innovative correction methods like e.g. differential deposition, ionfiguring or the correction of the profile via controlled stress films. In this paper we present a possible approach based on the direct polishing (with final ion figuring correction of the profile) of thin SiO2 segmented substrates (typically 2 mm thick), discussing different aspects of the technology under implementation and presenting some preliminary results.
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G. Pareschi, S. Basso, M. M. Civitani, M. Ghigo, G. Parodi, C. Pelliciari, B. Salmaso, D. Spiga, G. Vecchi, "Beyond Chandra (towards the X-ray Surveyor mission): possible solutions for the implementation of very high angular resolution X-ray telescopes in the new millennium based on fused silica segments", Proc. SPIE 9905, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 99051T (17 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2234201; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2234201
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