Toward active x-ray telescopes II

Stephen L. O'Dell, Thomas L. Aldcroft, Carolyn Atkins, Timothy W. Button, Vincenzo Cotroneo, William N. Davis, Peter Doel, Charlotte H. Feldman, Mark D. Freeman, Mikhail V. Gubarev, Raegan L. Johnson-Wilke, Jeffery J. Kolodziejczak, Charles F. Lillie, Alan G. Michette, Brian D. Ramsey, Paul B. Reid, Daniel Rodriguez Sanmartin, Timo T. Saha, Daniel A. Schwartz, Susan E. Trolier-McKinstryMelville P. Ulmer, Rudeger H.T. Wilke, Richard Willingale, William W. Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


In the half century since the initial discovery of an astronomical (non-solar) x-ray source, the observation time required to achieve a given sensitivity has decreased by eight orders of magnitude. Largely responsible for this dramatic progress has been the refinement of the (grazing-incidence) focusing x-ray telescope, culminating with the exquisite subarcsecond imaging performance of the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The future of x-ray astronomy relies upon the development of x-ray telescopes with larger aperture areas (> 1 m2) and comparable or finer angular resolution (< 1″). Combined with the special requirements of grazing-incidence optics, the mass and envelope constraints of space-borne telescopes render such advances technologically challenging-requiring precision fabrication, alignment, and assembly of large areas (> 200 m2) of lightweight (≈ 1 kg m-2 areal density) mirrors. Achieving precise and stable alignment and figure control may entail active (in-space adjustable) x-ray optics. This paper discusses relevant programmatic and technological issues and summarizes current progress toward active x-ray telescopes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive X-Ray Optics II
StatePublished - 2012
EventAdaptive X-Ray Optics II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 14 2012Aug 14 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherAdaptive X-Ray Optics II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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