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cosine presents Silicon Pore Optics progress

The development of cosine’s innovative enabling technology for ESA’s large X-ray observatory was reviewed positively by a panel of experts.

cosine continues to lead the development of a new technology for X-ray telescopes: Silicon Pore Optics (SPO). SPO is an enabling technology for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) next large X-ray observatory, Athena, as well as for other upcoming x-ray missions.

This month the latest updates and results were presented by cosine to ESA and a group of international experts, as part of the initiative’s regular review process.  cosine discussed progress made in ramping-up the mass production of the optics. Furthermore, process development details of the mirror plates, the coating, the stacking, as well as the mirror modules assembly towards reaching the final telescope design were reviewed. Both the mass production and the optics quality are important aspects of the Athena Mission Adoption Review in late 2022, and the roadmap towards this milestone was also presented.

SPO module in shock-testing rig at cosine (source: cosine)

In August, the progress of SPO development was presented at the international SPIE Optics + Photonics conference in San Diego, USA. An impressive number of 19 research papers were presented by ESA, cosine and scientific and industrial partners from Denmark, Germany and Italy. Topics discussed included mirror production, the coating process, the assembly of mirrors into modules, shock and vibration tests, and the construction of facilities for the assembly and testing of the complete optics. The progress of the SPO development was well received, and will continue full steam during the coming years.


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