Form 9.B Project Summary



Proposal Number:


Project Title:

High Angular Resolution Thin Foil

X-ray Mirrors

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

The innovation proposed by RJH Scientific, Inc.

(RJHS) is to increase by a factor of 4 to 10 the

angular resolution of current foil-based,

grazing-incidence x-ray telescope mirrors. While

thin foil mirrors have already been used

successfully to fabricate large effective area, light

weight x-ray mirrors, the angular resolution

achieved by these telescopes has typically been

limited to a few arcminutes. We propose to

demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating and

aligning thin foils with reduced surface roughness

and sufficiently low figure errors to produce x-ray

mirrors with angular resolution (defined as the half

power diameter) around 15 arcseconds. This

angular resolution, combined with the light weight

and efficiency of thin foil segmented mirrors, will be

ideal for advanced x-ray astronomy missions such

as the High Throughput X-ray Spectroscopy

(HTXS) Mission. Specifically, we intend to

accomplish the following tasks:

1. Demonstrate that we can reduce the surface

roughness of completed thin foils from current

typical values around 6 Angstroms RMS to about 3

Angstroms RMS;

2. Prove that thin foils can feasibly be fabricated

with sufficiently good optical figure to produce

images with about 15 arcsecond angular resolution;


3. Align the foils properly and maintain this

alignment despite mechanical and thermal stresses.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

The immediate commercial potential of the

proposed research is the manufacturing of x-ray

mirrors for space-borne x-ray astronomy

instruments on future missions by NASA and other

space agencies. The primary commercial

opportunity based on results of the proposed

research will result from adapting the technology

for use in medical diagnostic x-ray instrumentation.

Thin foil, multilayer coated mirrors can be used to

create spectral filters which will produce nearly

monoenergetic x-ray beams with energies ranging

from less than 10 keV to approximately 50 keV.

The capability to select the optimal energy of the

x-ray beam simply by inserting the appropriate

filter module will improve the performance of

diagnostic x-ray imaging instruments used for

mammography, standard computed tomography,

and multiple energy computed tomography. Other

potential applications include enhancing x-ray

instruments used for industrial process inspection

and for security screening. For these applications,

as for medical imaging applications, adding narrow

bandpass x-ray filters to currently existing

broadband x-ray sources can improve both spatial

resolution and the ability to detect low-contrast


Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Richard J. Harms

RJH Scientific, Inc.

5904 Richmond Highway, Suite 401

Alexandria , VA 22303

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Richard J. Harms

RJH Scientific, Inc.

5904 Richmond Highway, Suite 401

Alexandria , VA 22303