Abstract

Spherical and paraboloidal diffraction gratings are considered for use on an experiment involving a collection of satelliteborne spectrographs that will investigate astrophysical plasmas in the spectral region from approximately 100 to 300 Å. We shall use eight spectrographs: Wadsworth mounts in near-normal incidence with effective focal lengths of 3 m, each centered on a chosen wavelength in this spectral range. Ray tracings show that paraboloidal gratings used in the Wadsworth mount have a significant increase in resolution over spherical gratings of the same effective focal length, used in the same mounting, as long as the spectral ranges are small (approximately 10% of the central wavelength). This increase in resolution is due to the spatial extent of coma for a paraboloidal grating that is less than the circle of least confusion of spherical gratings.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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