Abstract

X-ray telescopes (XRT’s) of nested thin foil mirrors are developed for Astro-E, the fifth Japanese x-ray astronomy satellite. Although the launch was not successful, the design concept, fabrication, and alignment procedure are summarized. The main purpose of the Astro-E XRT is to collect hard x rays up to 10 keV with high efficiency and to provide medium spatial resolution in limited weight and volume. Compared with the previous mission, Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics (ASCA), a slightly longer focal length of 4.5–4.75 m and a larger diameter of 40 cm yields an effective area of 1750 cm2 at 8 keV with five telescopes. The image quality is also improved to 2-arc min half-power diameter by introduction of a replication process. Platinum is used instead of gold for the reflectors of one of the five telescopes to enhance the high-energy response. The fabrication and alignment procedure is also summarized. Several methods for improvement are suggested for the reflight Astro-E II mission and for other future missions. Preflight calibration results will be described in a forthcoming second paper, and a detailed study of images will be presented in a third paper.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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