The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope ARray (NuSTAR) was launched in June 2012 carrying the first focusing hard X-ray (5−80keV) optics to orbit. The multilayer coating was carried out at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Space). In this article we introduce the NuSTAR multilayer reference database and its implementation in the NuSTAR optic response model. The database and its implementation is validated using on-ground effective area calibration data and used to estimate in-orbit performance.
Recent technological innovations make it feasible to construct efficient hard x-ray telescopes for space-based
astronomical missions. Focusing optics are capable of improving the sensitivity in the energy range above 10 keV
by orders of magnitude compared to previously used instruments. The last decade has seen focusing optics
developed for balloon experiments and they are implemented in approved space missions such as the Nuclear
Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR). The full characterization of x-ray optics for astrophysical missions,
including measurement of the point spread function (PSF) as well as scattering and reflectivity properties of substrate coatings, requires a large area detector with very high spatial resolution and sensitivity, photon counting
and energy discriminating capability. Novel back-thinned Electron Multiplying Charge-Coupled Devices (EMCCDs) are suitable detectors for ground-based calibrations if combined with a scintillating material. This optical
coupling of the EMCCD chip to a microcolumnar CsI(Tl) scintillator can be achieved via a fiberoptic taper. Not
only does this detector system exhibit low noise and high spatial resolution inherent to CCDs, but the EMCCD
is also able to handle high frame rates. Additionally, thick CsI(Tl) yields high detection efficiency for x-rays. In
this paper, we discuss the advantages of using an EMCCD to calibrate hard x-ray optics. We will illustrate the
promising features of this detector solution using examples of data obtained during the ground calibration of the
NuSTAR telescopes performed at Columbia University during 2010/2011. Finally, we give an outlook on latest
development and optimizations.
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) launched in June 2012 carries the first focusing hard Xray (5 - 80 keV) telescope to orbit. The on-ground calibration was performed at the RaMCaF facility at Nevis, Columbia University. During the assembly of the telescopes, mechanical surface metrology provided surface maps of the reflecting surfaces. Several flight coated mirrors were brought to BNL for scattering measurements. The information from both sources is fed to a raytracing code that is tested against the on-ground calibration data. The code is subsequently used for predicting the imaging properties for X-ray sources at infinite distance.
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is a NASA Small Explorer mission that will carry the
first focusing hard X-ray (5-80 keV ) telescope to orbit. The ground calibration of the three flight optics was
carried out at the Rainwater Memorial Calibration Facility (RaMCaF) built for this purpose. In this article we
present the facility and its use for the ground calibration of the three optics.
We describe the fabrication of the two NuSTAR flight optics modules. The NuSTAR optics modules are glass-graphiteepoxy
composite structures to be employed for the first time in space-based X-ray optics by NuSTAR, a NASA Small
Explorer schedule for launch in February 2012. We discuss the optics manufacturing process, the qualification and
environmental testing performed, and briefly discuss the results of X-ray performance testing of the two modules. The
integration and alignment of the completed flight optics modules into the NuSTAR instrument is described as are the
optics module thermal shields.
The NuSTAR mission will be the first mission to carry a hard X-ray(5-80 keV) focusing telescope to orbit. The optics
are based on the use of multilayer coated thin slumped glass. Two different material combinations were used for the
flight optics, namely W/Si and Pt/C. In this paper we describe the entire coating effort including the final coating design
that was used for the two flight optics. We also present data on the performance verification of the coatings both on Si
witness samples as well as on individual flight mirrors.
NuSTAR is a hard X-ray satellite experiment to be launched in 2012. Two optics with 10.15 m focal length focus Xrays
with energies between 5 and 80 keV onto CdZnTe detectors located at the end of a deployable mast. The FM1 and
FM2 flight optics were built at the same time based on the same design and with very similar components, and thus the
performance of both is expected to be very similar. We provide an overview of calibration data that is being used to
build an optics response model for each optic and describe initial results for energies above 10 keV from the ground
calibration of the flight optics. From a preliminary analysis of the data, our current best determination of the overall
HPD of both the FM1 and FM2 flight optics is 52", and nearly independent of energy. The statistical error is negligible,
and a preliminary estimate of the systematic error is of order 4". The as-measured effective area and HPD meet the toplevel
NuSTAR mission sensitivity requirements.
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is a NASA Small Explorer mission that will carry the first focusing hard X-ray (6 - 80 keV) telescope to orbit. NuSTAR will offer a factor 50 - 100 sensitivity improvement compared to previous collimated or coded mask imagers that have operated in this energy band. In addition, NuSTAR provides sub-arcminute imaging with good spectral resolution over a 12-arcminute eld of view. After
launch, NuSTAR will carry out a two-year primary science mission that focuses on four key programs: studying the evolution of massive black holes through surveys carried out in fields with excellent multiwavelength coverage, understanding the population of compact objects and the nature of the massive black hole in the center of the Milky Way, constraining the explosion dynamics and nucleosynthesis in supernovae, and probing the nature of particle acceleration in relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei. A number of additional observations will be included in the primary mission, and a guest observer program will be proposed for an extended mission to expand the range of scientic targets. The payload consists of two co-aligned depth-graded multilayer coated grazing incidence optics focused onto a solid state CdZnTe pixel detectors. To be launched in early 2012 on a Pegasus rocket into a low-inclination Earth orbit, NuSTAR largely avoids SAA passage, and will therefore have low and
stable detector backgrounds. The telescope achieves a 10.14-meter focal length through on-orbit deployment of an extendable mast. An aspect and alignment metrology system enable reconstruction of the absolute aspect and variations in the telescope alignment resulting from mast exure during ground data processing. Data will
be publicly available at GSFC's High Energy Archive Research Center (HEASARC) following validation at the science operations center located at Caltech.
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is a NASA Small Explorer mission scheduled for launch in
February 2012. NuSTAR will deploy two imaging CdZnTe spectrometers in the 6-79 keV energy band. The two
NuSTAR optics utilize multilayer-coated, thermally-slumped glass integrated into a titanium-glass-epoxy-graphite
composite structure, along with an extendable mast, to obtain 10.15 meter focal length. Using this approach, the
NuSTAR optics will obtain subarcminute imaging with large effective area over its entire energy band. NuSTAR's
conic-approximation Wolter-I optics are the first true hard X-ray focusing optics to be deployed on a satellite
experiment. We report on the design of the NuSTAR optics, present the status of the two flight optics under
construction, and report preliminary measurements that can be used to predict performance.
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is a NASA Small Explorer (SMEX) mission which employs two
focusing optics. The optics are composed of stacks of thin mirror shells and spacers. Epoxy is used to bond the mirror
shells to the spacers and is a crucial component in determining the structural and optical performance of the telescopes.
We describe the epoxy selection for NuSTAR optics, emphasizing those epoxy characteristics essential to obtaining good
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is a NASA satellite mission scheduled for launch in 2011. Using focusing optics with multilayer coating for enhanced reflectivity of hard X-rays (6-79 keV), NuSTAR will provide a combination of clarity, sensitivity and spectral resolution surpassing the largest observatories in this band by orders of magnitude. This advance will allow NuSTAR to test theories of how heavy elements are born, discover collapsed stars and black holes on all scales and explore the most extreme physical environments. We will present an overview of the NuSTAR optics design and production process and detail the optics performance.
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, NuSTAR, is a NASA funded Small Explorer Mission, SMEX, scheduled
for launch in mid 2011. The spacecraft will fly two co-aligned conical approximation Wolter-I optics with a
focal length of 10 meters. The mirrors will be deposited with Pt/SiC and W/Si multilayers to provide a broad
band reflectivity from 6 keV up to 78.4 keV. To optimize the mirror coating we use a Figure of Merit procedure
developed for gazing incidence optics, which averages the effective area over the energy range, and combines an
energy weighting function with an angular weighting function to control the shape of the desired effective area.
The NuSTAR multilayers are depth graded with a power-law, di = a/(b + i)c, and we optimize over the total
number of bi-layers, N, c, and the maximum bi-layer thickness, dmax. The result is a 10 mirror group design
optimized for a flat even energy response both on and off-axis.
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is a small explorer (SMEX) mission currently under an extended Phase A study by NASA. NuSTAR will be the first satellite mission to employ focusing optics in the hard X-ray band (8-80 keV). Its design eliminates high detector backgrounds, allows true imaging, and permits the use of compact high performance detectors. The result: a combination of clarity, sensitivity, and spectral resolution surpassing the largest observatories that have operated in this band by orders of magnitude. We present an overview of the NuSTAR optics design and production process. We also describe the progress of several components of our independent optics development program that are beginning to reach maturity and could possibly be incorporated into the NuSTAR production scheme. We then present environmental test results that are being conducted in preparation of full space qualification of the NuSTAR optics.
Focusing optics are now poised to dramatically improve the sensitivity and angular resolution at energies above 10 keV to levels that were previously unachievable by the past generation of background limited collimated and coded-aperture instruments. Active balloon programs (HEFT), possible Explorer-class satellites (NuSTAR - currently under Phase A study), and major X-ray observatories (Con-X HXT) using focusing optics will play a major role in future observations of a wide range of objects including young supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei, and galaxy clusters. These instruments call for low cost, grazing incidence optics coated with depth-graded multilayer films that can be nested to achieve large collecting areas. Our approach to building such instruments is to mount segmented mirror shells with our novel error-compensating, monolithic assembly and alignment (EMAAL) procedure. This process involves constraining the mirror segments to successive layers of graphite rods that are precisely machined to the required conic-approximation Wolter-I geometry. We present results of our continued development of thermally formed glass substrates that have been used to build three HEFT telescopes and are proposed for NuSTAR. We demonstrate how our experience in manufacturing complete HEFT telescopes, as well as our experience developing higher performance prototype optics, will lead to the successful production of telescopes that meet the NuSTAR design goals.
We report on the fabrication and performance of prototype optics for the Constellation-X hard X-ray telescope (HXT). The prototypes utilize segmented-glass optics. Multiple glass segments are combined to produce telescope shells. The shells are separated by and epoxied to graphite rods, and each layer of rods is precisely machined to match the required optical geometry of the corresponding glass shell. This error-compensating, monolithic assembly and alignment (EMAAL) procedure is novel. Two prototypes are described. The first used 10cm long thermally-slumped glass pieces produced by slumping into a concave mandrel with no subsequent replication. This prototype obtained 45" (2-bounce HPD). The second prototype was the first attempt to mount epoxy-replicated, thermally-slumped glass optics using EMAAL. The latter prototype demonstrated our ability to produce and mount glass shells whose figure and performance are faithful representations of the original replication mandrel. The average performance was 45", with the best replicated segment providing 33" (2-bounce HPD) performance, consistent with the ~30" measured with laser reflectometry and interferometry prior to mounting. Both these prototypes substantially exceeded the HXT requirement of 60".
Complete hard X-ray optics modules are currently being produced for the High Energy Focusing Telescope (HEFT), a balloon born mission that will observe a wide range of objects including young supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei, and galaxy clusters at energies between 20 and 70 keV. Large collecting areas are achieved by tightly nesting layers of grazing incidence mirrors in a conic approximation Wolter-I design. The segmented layers are made of thermally-formed glass substrates coated with depth-graded multilayer films for enhanced reflectivity. Our novel mounting technique involves constraining these mirror segments to successive layers of precisely machined graphite spacers. We report the production and calibration of the first HEFT optics module.
This paper outlines an in-depth study of the W/Si coated mirrors for the High Energy Focusing Telescope (HEFT). We present data taken at 8, 40 and 60 keV obtained at the Danish Space Research Institute and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble. The set of samples were chosen to cover the parameter space of sample type, sample size and coating type. The investigation includes a study of the interfacial roughness across the sample surface, as substrates and later as coated, and an analysis of the roughness correlation in the W/Si coatings for N = 10 deposited bilayers. The powerlaw graded flight coating for the HEFT mirrors is studied for uniformity and scatter, as well as its performance at high energies.
We have determined experimentally optical constants for eight thin film materials that can be used in hard X-ray multilayer coatings. Thin film samples of Ni.97V.03, Mo, W, Pt, C, B4C, Si and SiC were deposited by magnetron sputtering onto superpolished optical flats. Optical constants were determined from fits to reflectance-vs-incidence angle measurements made using synchrotron radiation over the energy range E=35-180 keV. We have also measured the X-ray reflectance of a prototype W/SiC multilayer coating over the energy range E=35-100 keV, and we compare the measured reflectance with a calculation using the newly derived optical constants.
The High Energy Focusing Telescope (HEFT) will observe a wide range of objects including young supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei, and galaxy clusters at energies between 20 and 70 keV. Large collecting areas are achieved by tightly nesting layers of grazing incidence mirrors in a conic approximation Wolter-I design. The segmented mirrors that form these layers are made of thermally formed glass substrates coated with depth-graded multilayer films for enhanced reflectivity. The mirrors are assembled using an over-constraint method that forces the overall shape of the nominally cylindrical substrates to the appropriate conic form. We will present performance data on the HEFT optics and report the current status of the assembly production.
We report recent work on segmented glass optics for the Constellation-H hard x-ray telescope. This effort seeks to both improve the figure of the free-standing glass substrates, and to refine a newly-developed mounting technology for the substrates. We discuss metrology on recently characterized glass shells both unmounted and mounted. We also present plans for several prototype optics to be constructed in the upcoming year.
A new generation of hard X-ray telescopes using focusing optics are poised to dramatically improve the sensitivity and angular resolution at energies above 10 keV to levels that were previously unachievable by the past generation of background-limited collimated and coded-aperture instruments. Active balloon programs (HEFT, InFocus), possible Explorer-class satellites, and major X-ray observatories (Constellation-X, XEUS) using focusing optics will play a major role in future observations of a wide range of objects including young supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei, and galaxy clusters. These instruments call for grazing incidence optics coated with depth-graded multilayer films to achieve large collecting areas. To accomplish the ultimate goals of the more advanced satellite missions such as Constellation-X, lightweight and low-cost substrates with angular resolution well below an arcminute must be developed. Recent experimental results will be presented on the development of improved substrates and precision mounting techniques that yield sub-arcminute performance.
We have developed a new depth-graded multilayer system comprising W and SiC layers, suitable for use as hard X-ray reflective coatings operating in the energy range 100 - 200 keV. Grazing incidence X-ray reflectance at E=8 keV was used to characterize the interface widths, as well as the temporal and thermal stability in both periodic and depth-graded W/SiC structures, while synchrotron radiation was used to measure the hard X-ray reflectance of a depth-graded multilayer designed specifically for use in the range E~150 - 170 keV. We have modeled the hard X-ray reflectance using newly-derived optical constants, which we determined from reflectance-vs-incidence angle measurements also made using synchrotron radiation, in the range E=120 - 180 keV. We describe our experimental investigation in detail, compare the new W/SiC multilayers with both W/Si and W/B4C films that have been studied previously, and discuss the significance of these results with regard to the eventual development of a hard X-ray nuclear line telescope.