Deformable x-ray optics for solar physics

Melville P Ulmer*, R. A. Stern, L. Shing, M. Farber, Mark Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

2 Scopus citations


In order to have affordable light-weight hard (30 keV or higher) X-ray mirrors for solar physics studies, it is necessary to use metal replicated mirrors. However these mirrors have never been made to the exacting requirements of solar physics which is a 1 arc second point spread function half energy width. An exciting breakthrough can be achieved by making mirrors with current technology by measuring their figure and then judiciously deforming them as is traditionally done for visible light adaptive optics mirrors. As a first step in this project, an electroformed Wolter type I mirror was used to focus and image X-rays onto a CCD X-ray camera. Two sets of data necessary to characterize the mirror figure were acquired: (1) a series of in and out of focus images along the optical axis taken to allow for a deconvolution technique to determine the figure; (2) a series of in focus images taken at different energies (0.28-4.5 keV) so as to be able to correct for surface scatter effects on top of geometrical effects. A report on the analysis of these results and a discussion of preliminary actuator designs are given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - May 3 2004
EventTelescopes and Instrumentation for Solar Astrophysics - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 7 2003Aug 8 2003


  • Adaptive Optics
  • Optics
  • Solar Physics
  • X-rays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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