Slumping (or thermal-shaping) of thin glass sheets onto high precision mandrels was used successfully by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to fabricate the NuSTAR telescope. But this process requires long thermal cycles and produces mid-range spatial frequency errors due to the anti-stick mandrel coatings. Over the last few years, we have designed and tested non-contact horizontal slumping of round flat glass sheets floating on thin layers of nitrogen between porous air-bearings using fast position control algorithms and precise fiber sensing techniques during short thermal cycles. We recently built a finite element model with ADINA to simulate the viscoelastic behavior of glass during the slumping process. The model utilizes fluid-structure interaction (FSI) to understand the deformation and motion of glass under the influence of air flow. We showed that for the 2D axisymmetric model, experimental and numerical approaches have comparable results. We also investigated the impact of bearing permeability on the resulting shape of the wafers. A novel vertical slumping set-up is also under development to eliminate the undesirable influence of gravity. Progress towards generating mirrors for good angular resolution and low mid-range spatial frequency errors is reported.
The X-ray optics community has been developing technology for high angular resolution, large collecting area X-ray telescopes such as the Lynx X-ray telescope concept. To meet the high collecting area requirements of such telescope concepts, research is being conducted on thin, segmented optics. The mounts that fixture and align segmented optics must be the correct length to sub-micron accuracy to satisfy the angular resolution goals of such a concept. Set-andforget adjustable length optical mounting posts have been developed to meet this need. The actuator consists of a cylinder made of metal. Halfway up the height of the metal cylinder, a reduced diameter cylindrical neck is cut. To change the length of this actuator, an axial compressive or tensile force is applied to the actuator. A high-current electrical pulse is sent through the actuator, and this electrical current resistively heats the neck of the actuator. This heating temporarily reduces the yield strength of the neck, so that the applied force plastically deforms the neck. Once the current stops and the neck cools, the neck will regain yield strength, and the plastic deformation will stop. All of the plastic deformation that occurred during heating is now permanent. Both compression and expansion of these actuators has been demonstrated in steps ranging from 6 nanometers to several microns. This paper will explain the concept of ThermoYield actuation, explore X-ray telescope applications, describe an experimental setup, show and discuss data, and propose future ideas.
The successful NuSTAR telescope was fabricated with thin glass mirrors formed into conic shapes by thermal slumping of thin glass sheets onto high precision mandrels. While mirrors generated by this process have very good figure, the best mirrors to date have a resolution limited to ~7 arc sec, due primarily to mid-range scale spatial frequency errors. These mid-range errors are believed to be due to clumping and particulates in the anti-stick coatings used to prevent sticking between mandrel and mirrors. We have developed a new slumping process which avoids sticking and surface-induced mid-range error by floating hot glass substrates between a pair of porous air bearing mandrels through which compressed nitrogen is forced. We report on the design and testing of an improved air bearing slumping tool and show results of short and long slumping cycles.