Abstract

The nested grazing incidence telescope can achieve a large collecting area in x-ray astronomy, with a large number of closely packed, thin conical mirrors. Exploiting the surface metrological data, the ray tracing method used to reconstruct the shell surface topography and evaluate the imaging performance is a powerful tool to assist iterative improvement in the fabrication process. However, current two-dimensional (2D) ray tracing codes, especially when utilized with densely sampled surface shape data, may not provide sufficient accuracy of reconstruction and are computationally cumbersome. In particular, 2D ray tracing currently employed considers coplanar rays and thus simulates only these rays along the meridional plane. This captures axial figure errors but leaves other important errors, such as roundness errors, unaccounted for. We introduce a semianalytic, three-dimensional (3D) ray tracing approach for x-ray optics that overcomes these shortcomings. And the present method is both computationally fast and accurate. We first introduce the principles and the computational details of this 3D ray tracing method. Then the computer simulations of this approach compared to 2D ray tracing are demonstrated, using an ideal conic Wolter-I telescope for benchmarking. Finally, the present 3D ray tracing is used to evaluate the performance of a prototype x-ray telescope fabricated for the enhanced x-ray timing and polarization mission.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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