High-accuracy metrology is vitally essential in manufacturing and optimally using ultra-high-quality free-form mirrors designed, for example, for space X-ray telescopes to manipulate X-ray light with nanometer-scale wavelengths. Due to the shorter wavelength, requirements to the surface figure (shape) and finish (roughness) of X-ray mirrors are many orders of magnitude more stringent than for visible-light optics. Metrology technology has not kept up with the advancement in fabrication technologies. The deficiencies in the metrology, rather than in the fabrication technologies, primarily limit the optical quality. We propose to develop a novel “turn-key” technology and methodology for high precision calibration and sophisticated data processing directed to advance the Cylindrical Wavefront Interferometry. Realizing the proposed goals will open a principally new avenue for fabrication and performance characterization of large-area strongly-aspherical grazing-incidence X-ray mirrors that are critical optical elements of the high-performing space X-ray telescopes and beamline systems the modern X-ray facilities.
The technology will enable superior fabrication and performance characterization of large-area & strongly-aspherical grazing-incidence X-ray mirrors for X-ray telescopes by improving the metrology methodology. The capability for a full-dynamic-range ITF characterization of the metrology tool and data reconstruction to recover “true” optical surface has never been available before. The technology can be easily integrated with the existing metrology systems at NASA.
Using sophisticated full-spatial-frequency ITF characterization and beyond-resolution reconstruction of the metrology data, this product will bring existing metrological tools to their highest possible performance level; it will improve the optical quality of optics, reduce the cost of fabrication, and enable faster improvements in future designs of the instrumentation by equipment manufacturers.