The SXT Flight Model (FM1) has been completed. On to Japan!

The construction of the the Soft X-ray Telescope Flight Model (SXT-1 FM) that is to be flown on board the Astro-H satellite has been completed at the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center (GSFC). The mirror can been seen in the photo. The mirror housing has been divided along its circumference into four parts and along its length into an upper and a lower half. The cone-shaped X-ray reflectors are arranged into concentric circles. About one year was spent at Goddard Space Flight Center in producing the 1624 reflectors that make up the mirror. Each reflector was then fixed into the assembly with a placement accuracy of five microns.

At the front of the SXT, a pre-collimator has been attached. This device serves the same purpose for the mirror as a lens hood does for a normal camera: it prevents excess light (X-rays) from outside the field of view from entering the mirror assembly. This pre-collimator was assembled at the Institute for Space and Aeronautical Sciences (ISAS) and was attached to the mirror front at GSFC.

With the completion of the building of the mirror, experiments will be carried out to verify the quality of its performance.  For this purpose, the mirror assembly was shipped to ISAS on March 11, where experiments using the 30-meter X-ray beam line are being prepared. In this way, X-rays will be used to carry out a detailed evaluation of the performance characteristics of the mirror.


The completed first mirror flight model (SXT FM)

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