ESA Bulletin Number 100
XMM's X-Ray Telescopes
D. de Chambure, R. Lainé, K. van Katwijk & P. Kletzkine
- The XMM observatory has, at its heart, three large X-ray telescopes,
which will provide a large collecting area (1430 cm2 each at 1.5 keV,
and 610 cm2 each at 8.0 keV) with a spatial resolution of around
14-15 arcsec. At the end of 1998, three months ahead of schedule, the
three flight and the two spare models of the X-ray telescope were
handed over to the XMM Prime Contractor Daimler Chrysler
Aerospace (D). The three flight models were integrated onto the
spacecraft's optical platform at ESTEC at the end of March 1999.
- The X-ray telescopes show mechanical and optical performances
much better than specification, which will undoubtedly bring
important benefits for astronomers. The most challenging parts of
their development phase were the design, manufacture and testing of
the X-ray mirrors, which required four intensive years of work under
ESA's direct management (see ESA Bulletin No. 89, Feb. 1997).
- This article focusses on the telescope design, with emphasis on the
X-ray mirrors and baffles, and the X-ray and optical test results achieved
with the flight models of the telescope, including stray-light reduction.
Based on the lessons learnt from the XMM experience, the prospects
for the next generation of ultra-thin X-ray mirrors are also addressed