X-ray astronomy is highly dependent upon focusing optics as illustrated by the profound influence that results from the Chandra, XMM-Newton, and Suzaku observatories are having upon astrophysics. X-ray measurements address many of the major scientific objectives of NASA. They involve the entire range of X-ray emitting objects from the most distant supermassive black holes to planets and comets in our own solar system. Any innovation that can reduce the mass, lower the cost or improve the resolution of a telescope would be important as it would allow future missions to occur sooner and be more effective. The development we are proposing includes fabrication and manufacturing techniques that can benefit X-ray telescope technology and the success in fabricating and testing new lighter weight, stronger material optics will allow high throughput X-ray integral mirror shell telescopes to be substantially lighter weight, with improved angular resolution. This endeavor would lead to the design and development of X-ray optics for future NASA missions such as the Advanced X-ray Spectroscopic Imaging Observatory (AXSIO) and the construction of hard X-ray telescopes for future missions, including Explorer missions. Future X-ray astronomy missions such as Smart-X will require large effective area and will utilize a segmented optics approach. Our technology studies to fabricate lighter weight substrates which may also be useful for future missions requiring segmented optics.
While the development focuses on x-ray optics, significant possibilities exist for multi-spectral systems (i.e. UV, visible, infrared). These applications can be applied to the area of defense telescopes, commercial space exploration and medical imaging. The proposed innovation of coating microstructure gradation for supporting the precise x-ray optical surface can be applied to other applications due to highly robustness of thermal spray processes including surface conforming ability, large area deposition, fast deposition rate, and versatile process parameter variation as compared to vacuum deposition coating processes. Free standing multi-layer thick coating pipes and tubes manufactured via thermal spray forming process and separation from a graphite mandrel have already been tested. Residual stress management of the multi-functional layers is critical to achieve the uniform geometry as well as good cohesive strength. In conjunction, microstructure gradation via porosity level will reduce the overall system weight while provide enough structural stiffness. TS process is applicable for membrane-type solid oxide fuel cell fabrication in a consecutive and economical deposition process from dense electrolyte layers to porous electrode layers. Porosity graded microstructure investigation along with residual stress management benefits this SOFC structure development.