Thin-walled X-ray optics are going to be required to meet the demands of large collecting area versus volume and mass for the next generation X-ray astronomy Flagship Mission. We report here our progress on our concept of meeting the challenge of producing these mirrors. The case we address is the one where the initial fabrication process requires post-fabrication figure correction. Our technology can be applied prior to launch and also enable in-flight figure corrections. Our process is to coat a film of magnetic smart material onto the backside of the thin-walled X-ray mirrors. Then, an electromagnet is used to produce an in-plane stress and thus reshape the mirror. We show in this paper that 500 μm thick Si wafers can be coated and after coating remains significantly flat, i.e. they have a radius of curvature of about 30 m. We have carried out deflection measurements as a function of the external magnetic field of about 0.1 to 0.3 T and found a nearly linear relationship. We also revisited the stability of induced deflections for up to nearly 70 hours and also demonstrated that the process can produce deflections for fine-scale figure adjustments of order (10 nm) range deflections.
The only way to increase the sensitivity of X-ray telescopes without significantly increasing their size (compared to existing telescopes) is to use thinner mirror shells. However, to maintain the figure of thin mirror shells, their shape will need to be adjusted after they are mounted and/or actively controlled during flight. Here we describe progress toward developing a method that can be used to do both. The core of the concept is to coat thin (<500 μm) X-ray mirrors with a ~10 μm layer of magnetic smart material (MSM). When an external magnetic field is applied to the MSM layer it will expand or contract, changing the shape of the mirror. We have previously demonstrated that this method can be used to generate a single localized deformation on the surface of a test sample. Here we present work to study how two deformations affect each other. The first deformation that we created has a height of ~5 μm. The second deformation, generated by applying a magnetic field to the sample 4 mm from the first position, has a height of ~1 μm. It is likely that the second deformation is smaller than the first because the two areas where the magnetic field was applied were close to each other. This could have caused the MSM to already be partially expanded in the second area when the field was applied there.
Larger mirrors are needed to satisfy the requirements of the next generation of UV-Vis space telescopes. Our NASA-NIAC funded project, titled A Precise Extremely large Reflective Telescope Using Reconfigurable Elements (APERTURE), attempts to meet this requirement. The aim of the project is to demonstrate technology that would deploy a large, continuous, high figure accuracy membrane mirror. The figure of the membrane mirror is corrected after deployment using a contiguous coating of a Magnetic Smart Material (MSM) and a magnetic field. The MSM is a magnetostrictive material which is driven by magnetic write head(s) (MWH), locally imposed on the non-reflective side of the membrane mirror. In this proceeding we report the figure accuracy of the MSM coated membrane mirror under various conditions using a Shack-Hartmann surface profiler. The figure accuracy and magnetostrictive performance of the membrane mirror is found to be significantly dependent on ambient temperature fluctuations, the tension load on the membrane, time, magnetic writing head orientation and magnetic field strength. The results and reproducibility of the surface profiling experiments under various conditions are introduced and discussed.
One of the pressing needs for the UV-Vis is an affordable design that allows larger mirrors than the JWST primary. In this publication we report the results of the first year of a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Phase II study. Our project is called A Precise Extremely large Reflective Telescope Using Reconfigurable Elements (APERTURE). The concept is to deploy a continuous membrane-like mirror. The mirror figure will be corrected after deployment, causing the figure error to decrease below λ/20. While the basic concept is not new, our innovation lies in a different approach to correcting the residual figure errors from the classical piezoelectricpatch technology. Instead, our concept is based on a contiguous coating of a magnetic smart material (MSM). After deployment, a magnetic write head will move along the non-reflecting side of the mirror. The magnetic field will produce a stress in the MSM which then corrects the mirror shape. This publication summarizes the results of minimizing the MSM deposition stress as well as the size and stability of the deformation, which is maintained by a magnetically hard material.
We describe our progress in developing a method for correcting residual figure errors in X-ray mirrors. The technology has applications to both synchrotron radiation beamlines and X-ray astronomy. Our concept is to develop mirrors that are on the order of a millimeter thick. A magnetic smart material (MSM) is deposited onto the mirror substrate (silicon) and coated with a magnetically hard material. The shape of the mirror can be controlled by applying an external magnetic field to the mirror. This causes the MSM to expand or contract, thereby applying a magnetostrictive stress to the mirror and changing its shape. The shape change is maintained after the field has been removed by the magnetic hard material, which retains part of the field and prevents the MSM from relaxing. Here we present the results of shaping 200 µm thick silicon (100) 14 × 2 mm cantilevers and 50 × 50 × 0.1 mm substrates. We demonstrate that not only can a sizable deflection be created, but it can also be retained for ∼ 60 hours.