The Scotch-Tape Mirror for Hard X-rays project is to test the possibility of building a grazing incidence mirror for hard X-rays (E>20 keV) using a “scotch-tape” design, in which a thin plastic tape with a specific thickness profile and a multilayer reflective coating is tightly wound into a roll. The goal is to find a low-cost way of building a telescope for hard X-rays with a very large effective area.
The project is to build a grazing incidence mirror for hard X-rays (E>20 keV) using a “scotch-tape” design, in which a thin plastic tape with a specific thickness profile and a multilayer reflective coating is tightly wound into a roll. Key challenges are (a) to find a suitably smooth tape substrate (this has been done), (b) to wind a large number of tape shells onto the smooth metal centerpiece without introducing and accumulating shape irregularities, and (c) to give the tape the variable thickness profile in order to achieve the desired optical figure. Our immediate goal is to demonstrate the idea feasibility by building a crude conical X-ray concentrator. If successful, we will aim at building and flying a mirror prototype on a balloon and then proposing for an Explorer mission or MOO. The ultimate goal is a telescope with 1 m^2 effective area at E=30 keV.
Anything substantially bigger than the currently flying NuSTAR and the planned Astro-H high-energy X-ray telescope is likely to be cost-prohibitive if using the current technology. Our method may thus make it possible to launch larger telescopes within acceptable cost.
Any industry that uses X-ray imaging at photon energies above 20-30 keV may benefit from this cheaper mirror design.
|Organizations Performing Work
|Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.