Optics developments for ATHENA

Marcos Bavdaz, Eric Wille, Mark Ayre, Ivo Ferreira, Brian Shortt, Sebastiaan Fransen, Maximilien J. Collon, Giuseppe Vacanti, Nicolas Barrière, Boris Landgraf, Ronald Start, Coen van Baren, Desiree Della Monica Ferreira, Sonny Massahi, Finn Christensen, Michael Krumrey, Vadim Burwitz, Giovanni Pareschi, Giuseppe Valsecchi, Paul OliverAndré Seidel, Tapio Korhonen

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Mission studies and technology preparation for the ATHENA (Advanced Telescope for High ENergy Astrophysics) [1- 5] mission are continuing to progress. The X-ray optics of this future space observatory are based on the Silicon Pore Optics (SPO) technology [6-58], and is being evolved in a joint effort by industry, research institutions and ESA. The SPO technology benefits from substantial investments made by the semiconductor industry, and spins-in materials, processes and equipment into the development of novel X-ray optics. A comprehensive Technology Development Plan (TDP) is being implemented, funded by ESA and involving a large number of experts in key areas ranging from micro machining of Silicon, over sophisticated automation and robotic systems, to hybrid manufacturing. The performance, environmental compatibility and serial automated production and testing are being addressed in parallel, aiming at the demonstration of the required technology readiness for the ATHENA Mission Adoption Review (MAR) expected by the end of 2021. A formal Technology Readiness Assessment is in place and is being currently exercised in preparation of the ATHENA Mission Formulation review (MFR). The programmatics for the flight model implementation is being defined in detail, and preparations are starting for the design and implementation of the necessary facilities. An overview of the ATHENA optics technology preparation, the technology readiness assessment and the related activities is provided.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy IX
EditorsStephen L. O'Dell , Giovanni Pareschi
Number of pages12
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2019
Article number111190D
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event2019 SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications - San Diego, United States
Duration: 11 Aug 201915 Aug 2019


Conference2019 SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
SeriesProceedings of S P I E - International Society for Optical Engineering


  • X-ray optics
  • X-ray astronomy
  • Silicon pore optics
  • X-Ray telescopes
  • X-ray testing
  • Technology preparation

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