A hard X-ray telescope/concentrator design based on graded period multilayer coatings

Finn Erland Christensen, K. D. Joensen, P. Gorenstein, W. C. Priedhorsky, Niels Jørgen Stenfeldt Westergaard, H. W. Schnopper

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


It is shown that compact designs of multifocus, conical approximations to highly nested Wolter I telescopes, as well as single reflection concentrators, employing realistic graded period W/Si or Ni/C multilayer coatings, allow one to obtain more than 1000 cm2 of on-axis effective area at 40 keV and up to 200 cm2 at 100 keV. The degree of concentration is defined by a focusing factor i.e., the effective area divided by the half power focal area. For the cases studied, this is 400 at 40 keV and 200 at 100 keV for a 2 arcmin imaging resolution. This result is quite insensitive to the specifics of the telescope configuration provided that mirrors can be coated to an inner radius of 3 cm. Specifically we find that a change of focal length from 5 to 12 m affects the effective area by less than 10%. In addition the result is insensitive to the thickness of the individual mirror shell provided that it is smaller than roughly 1 mm. The design can be realized with foils as thin (≤0.4 mm) as used for ASCA and SODART or with closed, slightly thicker (∼1.0 mm) mirror shells as used for JET-X and XMM. The effect of an increase of the inner radius is quantified on the effective area for multilayered mirrors up to 9 cm. The calculated Field of View (full width at half maximum), ranges from 9 arcmin at 1 keV to ≥5 arcmin at 60 keV. Finally, the continuum sensitivity of the design assuming a signal to noise ratio of 5 and a 10% energy bandwidth has been calculated. For a balloon flight observation of 104 sec. with a telescope having 2 arcmin imaging resolution the point source sensitivity is ∼3 · 10−6 photons/cm2/s/keV up to 70 keV for a W/Si coated telescope and up to ∼100 keV for a Ni/C coated telescope. For a satellite observation time of 105 sec and an imaging resolution of 1 arcmin the sensitivity is ∼10−7 photons/cm2/s/keV which demonstrates the great potential of this hard X-ray imaging telescope in the energy range up to 100 keV.
Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Astronomy
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)33-46
Publication statusPublished - 1995


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