13th International Workshop on Astronomical X-Ray Optics

5 - 9th December 2022 | Prague, Czech Republic

The goal of the workshop is to present and to discuss recent and future technologies for X-ray astronomy missions. These missions require the development of innovative technologies, and we would like to discuss the possibilities, the results obtained so far, and new ideas in detail. 

Registration Deadline

5th November 2022

Abstract Deadline

5th November 2022

Payment Deadline

Same as relevant Registration Deadline 

List of Abstracts

X-ray Optics (14)

record_voice_over Nicolas Barrière
Silicon Pore Optics X-ray mirror development for the Athena telescope

Athena has been selected in 2014 by the European Space Agency as its next flagship x-ray observatory in the Science Programme. It uses a new modular technology to realize its 2.5 m diameter lens, which is made of several hundreds co-aligned mirror modules, each consisting of up to 76 mirror pairs. The telescope follows a 12-m focal length Wolter-Schwarzschild design, with the goal to deliver 1.4 m2 effective area in a point spread function of 5’’ half-energy width at 1 keV, and an energy range of 0.2 to 12 keV. This corresponds to several hundred square meters of super-polished mirrors with a roughness of about 0.3 nm and a thickness down to 110 μm. Silicon Pore Optics (SPO), using the highest-grade double-side polished 300 mm wafers commercially available, have been invented to enable such next generation x-ray telescopes. SPO allows the cost-effective production of high-resolution, large area, x-ray optics, by using all the advantages of mono-crystalline silicon and the mass production processes of the semi-conductor industry. SPO has also shown to be a versatile technology that can be further developed for gamma-ray optics, medical applications and for materials research. This paper will present the status of the technology and of the mass production capabilities, show latest performance results and discuss the next steps in the development.

record_voice_over Andrzej Bartnik
EUV optical systems for laboratory, plasma – based radiation sources: investigation of EUV induced plasmas

In this work investigations of EUV-induced, low temperature plasmas created in rare or molecular gases were performed. Experiments were carried out using laser-produced plasma (LPP) EUV sources. The sources were based on a 10 Hz NdYAG laser system delivering pulses of energy up to 10 J with a pulse duration of 1 ÷ 10 ns. The EUV ionizing radiation was focused using grazing incidence collectors optimized for specific wavelength ranges. In our experiments various gases or gaseous mixtures were injected into the interaction region, perpendicularly to an optical axis of the irradiation system, using an auxilary gas puff valve. Irradiation of the gases resulted in ionization and excitation of atoms and molecules forming the EUV induced plasmas. Spatio-temporal behavior of this type of low-temperature plasmas formed in various gases was investigated using an optical streak camera. Spectral measurements in EUV and VUV ranges were performed using grazing incidence, flat-field spectrographs (McPherson, H+P Spectroscopy respectively). Spectra in UV/Vis range were measured using an Echelle Spectra Analyzer ESA 4000. Spectra measured in the wide wavelength range were composed of spectral lines corresponding to radiative transitions in atoms, molecules, atomic or molecular ions. The ionic and atomic spectral lines were identified based on NIST database. The molecular spectra were identified based on literature data. The spectral analysis was also supported by numerical simulations of the molecular spectra measured in the VUV/UV/VIS range using various codes like LIFBASE, Specair or PGOPHER. Spectra corresponding to various molecular species not present in an initial gaseous mixtures were identified.

record_voice_over Vadim Burwitz
Testing X-ray optics at PANTER in the AHEAD2020 context (View PDF)

Within the framework of the European Union Horizon 2020 program the AHEAD2020 integrated activity for the high energy astrophysics dome has been supporting the testing and calibrating of X-ray optics at the PANTER X-ray test facility of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE). This is part of the joint research activity work package (WP #10) on X-ray optics. The AHEAD202 project began in March 2020 lasting until November 2024. The PANTER activity has in part supported many projects. Starting with the testing and calibration of two new Chinese/European X-ray missions slated for launch in the second half of 2023. These are the SVOM (Sino-French) and the Einstein Probe (CAS/ESA/MPE) missions for which lobster-eye and nickel shell optics have been characterised and tested. SPO optics for the ESA ATHENA mission have been and will continue to be tested as well as high the precision optics needed for the BEaTriX SPO test facility. Also, a large novel KB-optic demonstrator has been thoroughly tested. I will present a short overview of the AHEAD2020 X-ray optics work package and highlight results from some of the measurements that were done in this context

record_voice_over Vincenzo Cotroneo
Advances in novel overcoatings for soft X-ray reflectivity enhancement

At AXRO 2019 we presented for the first time a novel idea for the realization of cost-effective overcoatings (based on dip-coating method) for the enhancement of soft X-ray reflectivity. These coatings can be realized by immersing the optics in a liquid solution, where a thin, low-density film spontaneously assembles on the optical surface. Since then, we experimented with different compounds, identifying and tuning a promising deposition process, which has a broad compatibility with reflecting materials and offers a relevant enhancement of performances. We deposited these coatings on different mirror samples representative of future X-ray telescopes and tested them in X-rays. We present the latest results and discuss their correspondence with the model and the potential further development and applications of the technology.

record_voice_over Thorsten Döhring
Testing of lobster-eye type telescopes with X-rays and visible light

Reflective coatings for astronomical X-ray optics were developed at the “Aschaffenburg Competence Center for Astronomical and Space Instrumentation” (ACCASI) since several years. As part of a Bavarian-Czech cooperation between the Technical University of Aschaffenburg and the Czech Technical University of Prague, now two mechanically identical telescopes were built. One telescope optic was equipped with conventional gold-coated mirrors, manufactured by the Czech project partners. The 34 X-ray mirrors of the second telescope use an innovative coating system made of chromium and iridium, which was applied at the Aschaffenburg coating laboratory. Both telescopes are designed according to the bionic principle of a reflecting lobster eye. The optics works with two consecutive reflections on mutually perpendicular mirror surfaces. This enables a large field of view with many square degrees in diameter, which, however, comes at the price of a reduced angular resolution. An extensive X-ray characterization of these telescopes was carried out at the PANTER test facility of MPE, which simulates parallel starlight incident on the telescopes. The telescopes have an angular resolution of about 4 arc minutes in X-rays and a focal length of about 2 meters. Furthermore, the used X-ray mirrors reflect and focus visible light as well and this functionality in the optical regime was checked in laboratory tests. Now another test campaign is planned to examine the telescope resolution for real objects of the visible night sky and the imaging properties for star constellations. Such functional tests by observing astronomical objects of the visible sky may simplify and accelerate the development of X-ray telescopes.

record_voice_over Fabien Grisé
Electron-beam enabled optics

Custom, large-format astronomical gratings are needed for future space observatories, as further emphasized by the 2020 NASA decadal survey priorities. Their design requires (nano-)fabrication methods that are becoming increasingly complex. Amongst the many challenges, aberration-control for future gratings requires the need to patterning non-parallel grooves on flat substrates or curved substrates. Electron-beam (e-beam) lithography is one of the better-suited techniques to create these complex patterns. Subsequent processes usually involve some form of etching that enables high efficiency and/or high spectral resolution gratings to be manufactured. This talk will discuss previous and current projects taking place at the Penn State Nanofabrication Lab encompassing a wide range of e-beam enabled optics such as (E)UV gratings, curved gratings, and Fresnel zone plates.

record_voice_over Rene Hudec
Novel Lobster Eye and Kirkpatrick Baez modules based on Multi Foil Technology: design, assembly and tests

We present the design, assembly and tests of new Lobster Eye (LE) and Kirpatrick Baez (KB) modules based on Multi Foil Optics technology (MFO). The LE X- ray optics is a wide field of view (FOV) optics type Lobster Eye (LE) with short (400 mm) focal length (suitable for cubesat application) based on Schmidt design. The 2D LE optics consists of two orthogonal sub-modules of flat smooth reflective foils and each sub-modules focuses in one direction. The key parameters (the FWHM, the FOV (Field of view) and angular resolution, effective area) of the 2D LE optic were measured with different detectors . The advantage of MFO LE is that for off-axis points the angular resolution is preserved throughout the FOV, as demonstrated by measuring. There is combined detector system which include two detectors - Timepix3 Quad and spectroscope. The benefit of the combined detector system was demonstrated in the real measurement. Moreover, a new generation multiple arrays module of 2D X-ray KB optics with long f (nearly 6 meters) based on multi-foil silicon assembling technology was designed, manufactured, and tested in optical light and in X-rays at the Panter facility and the preliminary results will be also presented and discussed..

record_voice_over Dan Schwartz
Using a Gravitational Lens as the Ultimate X-ray Telescope. (View PDF)

Co-authors: Alysa Rogers, Cristiana Spingola, Anna Barnacka. The best X-ray telescopes even for future consideration do not approach milli-arcsecond resolution. We are familiar with the fact that gravitational lenses magnify the fluxes of distant objects. The lenses also amplify the spatial scale of emitters in the source plane. Sources inside and near to the lens caustic are highly magnified, and yield four images. This over determines the reference frame relative to observations in other wavebands. The mass model that determines the properties of the lens depends sensitively on image positions measured in the optical or radio bands. Since the lensing is achromatic, the X-ray images must coincide with the optical/radio images if and only if their source is at an identical position. From an astrophysical perspective this need not be true. Binary, offset and dual supermassive black holes (SMBH) are expected in the early universe as galaxies evolve and merge. X-ray emission is an ideal method to detect SMBH via Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). We use a double maximum likelihood ratio test to first correlate the X-ray data with the predictions derived from one putative source position, and then to choose the best of a set of possible source positions. For MG B2016+112, B0712+472 and B1608+656 we measure locations to within 2 to 11 mas (one sigma) of the corresponding radio sources. These give metric distances to an accuracy better than 100 pc, unprecedented for X-ray observations at such large redshifts. For B2016 at z 3.273 we deduced the presence of two X-ray emitting regions; either a dual AGN or an AGN plus pc-scale X-ray jet. One X-ray region is within +/- 40 pc of a radio counterpart. Whatever is the best resolution X-ray telescope, gravitational lensing will enhance its performance. With the advent of the Rubin, SKA, and Roman all-sky facilities, tens of thousands of lensed quasars will be revealed. Why would you bother to point an X-ray telescope at an un-lensed quasar?

record_voice_over Vojtech Simon
The LOBSTER-EYE monitor - Perspectives of the soft X-ray observing the Galactic center region (View PDF)

We show the lobster-eye (LE) monitor's perspectives and observing plan based on a small LE telescope on a small (CubeSat-like) satellite platform. This instrument is important because it is able to provide wide-field X-ray imaging. We present the possibilities of monitoring the Galactic center region in the soft X-ray energy band. The reason is that many X-ray binaries, especially those with a low-mass lobe-filling secondary and mostly the neutron star accretor, concentrate in the bulge surrounding the center of our Galaxy. Several such binaries are expected to be present in our monitor's field of view (a square of about 5 x 5 degrees). We show the long-term activity of the examples of X-ray binaries located in this region.

record_voice_over Veronika Stieglitz
Characterisation of lobster eye optics and investigation of alternative PSF bases

During last years, new possibilities of reflective coating layers for X-ray telescopes were studied and applied in frame of cooperation between CTU and Aschaffenburg University of Applied Science. These coatings and innovative optical designs, were not only simulated, but also prepared as functional demonstrators. For preliminary testing purposes of geometrical functionality, due to high facility and time demands of actual X-ray campaigns, images done in visible light were used. While images are not providing exact results regarding the quality of X-ray image, like angular resolution, they can be still used to check the mechanical and geometrical quality of prepared demonstrators. Evaluating such images showed that a Gaussian point spread function can represent the rough shape of the mirror mapping, and provides a FWHM estimate. However the residues show that the actual image contains much more details, which can be important for evaluating images, as well as the quality of the assembly. Alternative basis functions are investigated, resolving the contributions of individual mirrors. The split is apparent in the main focus, and even more exagerated in the side lobes. This approach can be useful for the design and assembly process, but also for deconvolution of images.

record_voice_over Carsten Stock
Holographic soft X-ray and EUV gratings – recent progress

Based on some recent projects in the field of beamline gratings and gratings for EUV/soft X-ray space missions, we introduce the enhanced options for the manufacturing of customized gratings. In numerous discussions with customers and project partners, we have learned that the degrees of freedom offered by holography are not generally known. Thus, we are concerned that the full technological capacity is often unused. Excellent scattered light level and flexible grating profiles are typical features of this grating type. In particular, a locally adapted blaze angle enables a uniform diffraction efficiency within the grating aperture even when the deflection angle shows a strong variation. Our technology chain offers the possibility to achieve a highly variable tuning of the spectral characteristics as well, while the resulting (multi-zone) grating still does not exhibit any phase discontinuities. Furthermore, a wide variety of achievable grating profiles offers further possibilities for spectral adaptation.

record_voice_over Vladimír Tichý
LOPSIMUL - quick numerical simulator of multi-foil reflective optical systems (View PDF)

A software called LOPSIMUL is presented. The main advantage of LOPSIMUL is very high computational rate. LOPSIMUL is inteded for simulation of multi-foil optical systems, particularly Schmidt of Angel lobster eye. Plenty of systems derivated of lobster eye can be simulated by LOPSIMUL, too. Kirkpatrick-Baez system can be simulated with limitations. LOPSIMUL contains few reflectivity models. Any reflectifity model can be imported to LOPSIMUL as data table. LOPSIMUL shows resulting image and graphs of X and Y profiles. The image and profiles can be exported to be processed by other software. LOPSIMUL caluculates FWHM, gain, effective collecting area and other basic results.

record_voice_over Richard Willingale
How can we achieve diffraction limited imaging of the X-ray sky? (View PDF)

I will review the prospects for the design and manufacture of X-ray mirrors, lenses and interferometers which could enable diffraction limited X-ray imaging for astronomical observation in space. This would open up a completely new research area of ultra high angular resolution X-ray astronomy with imaging at angular scales of order 300 micro arc seconds operating at 1 keV. X-ray interferometry has the potential to achieve a resolution of order 100 micro arc seconds or better and currently available technology is good enough to manufacture the mirrors required. This could go in the either the X-ray Optics or X-ray and High-Energy Astrophysics session.

receipt Ondrej Nentvich
PyXLA ray-tracing software for modelling Lobster-eye optics (View PDF)

Collimation of X-rays is challenging, especially in a wide field of view. One of the wide-field optics is the Lobster-Eye type in Schmidt's arrangement, which will be considered for simulations. Recent space missions carrying the Lobster-eye optics proved they are good wide-field optics, and it is worth researching this kind of optics. This poster discusses a newly developed simulation program, PyXLA, dedicated mainly to designing these optics. It is written in Python for multiplatform usage, focusing on accurate results and optical design LE optics and X-ray detector Timepix which can be interchanged for another type. The current state of the PyXLA software can simulate Lobster-eye optics with flat mirrors and give its parameters as reflective coefficients depending on the grazing angle of incidence. The results of the software can be an image of a point-spread function or an image containing several point sources both at a defined energy. Also, getting a physical arrangement of the setup is possible to construct the actual experiment.

Space Missions (12)

record_voice_over Lorenzo Amati
The X/Gamma-ray Imaging Spectrometer (XGIS) for THESEUS and other opportunities

I describe the science case, design and expected performances of the X/Gamma-ray Imaging Spectrometer (XGIS), a GRB and transients monitor developed and studied for the THESEUS mission project, capable of covering an exceptionally wide energy band (2 keV – 10 MeV), with imaging capabilities and location accuracy <15 arcmin up to 150 keV over a Field of View of 2sr, a few hundreds energy resolution in the X-ray band (<30 keV) and few microseconds time resolution over the whole energy band. Thanks to a design based on a modularity approach, the XGIS can be easily re-scaled and adapted for fitting the available resources and specific scientific objectvies of future high-energy astrophysics missions, and especially those aimed at fully exploiting GRBs and high-energy transients for multi-messenger astorphysics and fundamental physics.

record_voice_over Lorenzo Amati
The Transient High-Energy Sky and Early Universe Surveyor (THESEUS)

The Transient High-Energy Sky and Early Universe Surveyor (THESEUS) is a space mission concept selected by ESA for a Phase A study (2018-2021) as candidate M5 mission, and currently being reproposed for the recently opened ESA/M7 opportunity for a launch in 2037. THESEUS aims at exploiting Gamma-Ray Bursts for investigating the early Universe and at providing a substantial advancement of multi-messenger and time-domain astrophysics. Through an unprecedented combination of X-/gamma-rays monitors, an on-board IR telescope and automated fast slewing capabilities, THESEUS will be a wonderful machine for the detection, characterization and redshift measurement of any kind of GRBs and many classes of X-ray transients. In addition to the full exploitaiton of high-redshift GRBs for cosmology (pop-III stars, cosmic re-ionization, SFR and metallicity evolution up to the "cosmic dawn"), THESEUS will allow the identification and study of the electromagnetic counterparts to sources of gravitational waves which will be routinely detected in the second half of the '30s by next generation facilities like aLIGO/aVirgo, LISA, KAGRA, and Einstein Telescope (ET), as well as of most classes of transient sources, thus providing an ideal sinergy with the large e.m. facilities of the near future like LSST, ELT, TMT, SKA, CTA, ATHENA.

record_voice_over Vladimír Dániel
CubeSat microsatellite demonstrator with X-ray optical payload (View PDF)

The presentation describes the CubeSat microsatellite spacecraft with X-ray optical payload for prompt observation of transient astrophysical objects in X-ray energy range. By combining telescope concepts and miniaturized detectors, the small spacecraft will be able to probe the X-ray temporal emissions of bright events and also short and long term observations of other types of variable X-ray sources. The spacecraft is based on the CubeSat nanosatellite platform with a volume of 8U. The spacecraft carries two X-ray telescopes combined in one demonstrator. The first is intended for X-ray transient monitoring and localization, and the second for detailed spectroscopic observation. The design, assembly and testing of demonstrator will be presented.

record_voice_over Charly Feldman
The MXT instrument on SVOM

I present the current status of the MXT instrument for SVOM, a Chinese French mission due for launch towards the end of next year. The MXT is a French instrument and the goal is to effectively localise GRBs which have been detected in a companion instrument, ECLAIRS. The Full calibration of both the lobster eye optic, the MOP, and the complete instrument have been completed at PANTER, MPE, and some of the results will be presented. Much effort has gone in to the modelling of the optic and the comparison between the model and calibrated effective area will be discussed.

record_voice_over Charly Feldman
LEIA - First wide field-of-view X-ray observations by a lobster eye focusing telescope in orbit

As a novel X-ray focusing technology, lobster eye telescopes formed by tessellated Micro Pore Optics (MPOs), feature both a wide observing field of view and true imaging capability, promising sky monitoring with significantly improved sensitivity in soft X-rays. I will present the first-light results of the Galactic centre region, Sco X-1and the diffuse Cygnus Loop nebular (0.5 - 4 keV range) from a flight experiment of the Lobster Eye Imager for Astronomy (LEIA), a pathfinder of the wide-field X-ray telescope of the Einstein Probe mission. Launched in July 2022, LEIA has a mostly un-vignetted field of view of 18.6 deg × 18.6 deg, a spatial resolution in the range of 4–7 arcmin in FWHM and the focal spot effective area is 2–3 cm2. The results provide a solid basis for the development of the present and proposed wide-field X-ray missions using lobster eye telescopes.

record_voice_over Peter Friedrich
X-ray test and calibration of the Einstein Probe Follow-up telescope (View PDF)

The Follow-up telescope (FXT) is one of the instruments on board of the Einstein Probe (EP) satellite of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) due for launch in late 2023. The EP mission is dedicated to the study of the time-domain high-energy astrophysics, using a Lobster-eye based wide field telescope, complemented by an eROSITA-like optics for follow-up observations. MPE has provided hardware and its test facilities as part of a European contribution to Einstein Probe by ESA, and in addition the eROSITA Flight Spare Mirror Assembly as the second FXT module. Three FXT Mirror Modules - STM, QM and FM - have been built. All were acceptance tested with X-rays and then equipped with X-ray baffles for stray-light rejection, followed by environmental tests and subsequent X-ray performance tests. The final tests of QM, serving as a Flight Spare, and FM included an X-ray calibration at various photon energies ranging from about 0.3 to 8 keV. All tests were performed at MPE's X-ray Panter test facility and the test laboratory with its facilities for vibration and thermal-vacuum test. Reported are the setups and the results of this test sequence, focusing on the QM and FM Mirror Assemblies.

record_voice_over Alan Garner
Status of the Rocket Experiment Demonstration of a Soft X-ray Polarimeter (REDSoX)

The Rocket Experiment Demonstration of a Soft X-ray Polarimeter (REDSoX) is a sounding rocket instrument recently selected for funding through NASA’s APRA program. While scientifically it aims to measure the soft X-ray polarization of compact objects such as blazars, quasars, and neutron stars, it also serves as an important opportunity for technology development. Specifically, the REDSoX design utilizes a novel combination of focusing optics, critical-angle transmission (CAT) gratings, laterally-graded multilayer mirrors, and sensors to create an instrument that simultaneously measures the polarization and energy of low energy X-Rays (<1 keV). I will provide a summary of the early design decisions being made for REDSoX, as well as our long-term goal of adapting the design into a future orbital mission.

record_voice_over Randall McEntaffer
The Off-plane Grating Rocket Experiment (OGRE) (View PDF)

An overview of the Off-plane Grating Rocket Experiment, OGRE, will be given. This is a NASA suborbital rocket mission, the smallest programs funded by NASA for spaceflight. This high-resolution spectrograph combines lightweight X-ray optics, state-of-the-art reflection gratings, and an electron-multiplying CCD array. The talk will detail the novel X-ray grating fabrication process performed at Penn State. Furthermore, the polished Si X-ray optic from Will Zhang's group in NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will be discussed as will the EM-CCD camera, which was built at XCAM with guidance from collaborators at the Open University. Additional options for this suborbital rocket will also be presented.

record_voice_over Drew Miles
An extended-source grating spectrograph for suborbital rockets and small satellites (View PDF)

The rise of high-throughput X-ray reflection gratings has enabled new instrument concepts in soft-X-ray spectroscopy. Coupling modern, highly efficient gratings with an optical design that enables a large field of view (FOV) allows for spectrographs that can achieve higher-resolution observations of extended sources and the X-ray background. The Rockets for Extended-source X-ray Spectroscopy (tREXS) are a series of suborbital rocket payloads that apply this concept, utilizing modern reflection gratings fabricated with electron-beam lithography, passive, mechanical beam-shaping modules to achieve a large FOV, and an extended focal-plane array of X-ray CMOS detectors. We present here the design of the tREXS instrument, and discuss ways that the instrument concept can be adapted to other formats, including SmallSats, that can enable longer observations and more complete sky coverage.

record_voice_over Peter Predehl
The eROSITA X-ray All-sky Survey (View PDF)

3 years after its launch from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome, all systems and instruments are working properly on the Spektr-RG (SRG) observatory. With eROSITA, the German contribution, half of all 8 sky surveys have been completed so far. Millions of X-ray sources, mostly of extragalactic nature, have been discovered. This confirmes what we had hoped for before the launch and had already been able to verify before the sky survey began by a sample survey of a 140 square degree field: We will easily achieve our goals of discovering 100,000 galaxy clusters, 3 million AGN, and nearly 1 million galactic sources. Already, fundamental discoveries and investigations with unprecedented sensitivity have been made with eROSITA.

record_voice_over Daniel Ryan
New Demands of X-ray Imaging Systems in High-Energy Solar Physics

We discuss how scientific progress in high-energy solar physics is placing new demands on solar X-ray optics and detector systems. Understanding solar flares depends on simultaneously producing images and spectra of their X-ray emission in the range from a few to hundreds of keV. Because solar flares are among the brightest and most dynamic X-ray sources in the sky, the requirements for making these measurements are uncommon or unique in astrophysics. To date, solar spectroscopic imagers have employed indirect imaging strategies. However the next great scientific advances are likely to come from the deployment of direct X-ray focusing optics which provide greater sensitivity, imaging dynamic range and time cadence. We outline the strengths and limitations of current solar indirect spectroscopic imagers with the direct-focusing FOXSI (Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager) concept which is scheduled for its fourth sounding rocket flight in March 2024.

record_voice_over Jakub Řípa
GRBAlpha and VZLUSAT-2 CubeSats Observing the Gamma-Ray Sky (View PDF)

I will present the detector performance and science results from GRBAlpha, a 1U CubeSat mission, which is a technological pathfinder to a future constellation of nanosatellites monitoring gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). GRBAlpha was launched in March 2021 and operates on a 550km altitude sun-synchronous orbit. GRBAlpha has already detected several long and short GRBs, flashes from soft-gamma repeater SGR 1935+2154 and solar flares. Recently, it has detected extraordinarily bright GRB 221009A, which was the most intense GRB ever recorded in the 55 years history of GRB science. One and half year after launch, the detector performance is good and the degradation of the SiPM photon counters remains at an acceptable level. The same detector system, but double in size, was launched in January 2022 on VZLUSAT-2 (3U CubeSat) and it has also detected several GRBs, activity of SGR 1935+2154 and solar flares. This proves that nanosatellites can be used for routine detection of gamma-ray transients.

X-ray Detectors and Test Facilities (7)

record_voice_over Charly Feldman
The VTF - 4 years of experimental physics

The VTF is a novel test bench for individual Micro Pore Optics (MPOs), allowing the Full Width Half Maximum (FWHM), focal length, efficiency and pore alignment in a single image. Whilst it is similar to a test bench created at Goddard Space Flight Centre (GSFC), it is upside down in comparison and enables testing of MPOs at all stages of production, which will be described and discussed. The VTF has suffered many delays and technical issues which has prevented full calibration of the facility, however, initial results and modelling are promising and will be presented. It is hoped that the flight SMILE optics will be tested and some results can be shown.

record_voice_over Henryk Fiedorowicz
Laser plasma radiation source as a tool for testing X-ray and EUV optics (View PDF)

The paper presents laser plasma sources of soft X-rays and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) that can be very useful for testing optical elements for the soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) spectral ranges, such as mirrors, detectors or filters. The sources are based on laser plasmas produced by irradiating a gas puff target with nanosecond laser pulses at an intensity in the interaction region of about 1011-1013 Wcm-2. The laser pulses are generated using commercially available Nd:YAG lasers (EKSPLA) generating 4 ns pulses with an energy of about 0.8 J or pulses with a time duration of 1 ns or 10 ns and an energy of 10 J at a repetition rate of 10 Hz. The targets are formed by pulsed injection of working gas (Xe, Kr, Ar or mixtures thereof) in an additional annular stream of He gas under high-pressure using a double-nozzle set up (double-stream gas puff target approach). Spectral, spatial and temporal characteristics of the radiation emitted from the source are presented. The sources were used to test various elements of soft X-ray and EUV optics, including grazing incidence and multilayer mirrors, semiconductor and scintillation detectors, and absorption filters. Results of these studies are presented. The possibility of using laser plasma radiation sources for testing X-ray astronomy optics is briefly discussed.

record_voice_over Carlos Granja
X ray imaging with spectral and photon counting response with Timepix3 and Timepix2 radiation cameras (View PDF)

An overview will be presented of high-resolution spectral-sensitive X-ray imaging with the hybrid semiconductor pixel detector Timepix3 and Timepix2 detectors. The imaging response, energy/spectral range and energy resolution will be described for the various semiconductor sensor material (Si, CdTe) and sensor thickness used. Results of high-contrast radiographies of a wide range of samples will be shown including soft and also high-density objects. The pixel detectors are operated with highly integrated readout electronics in the form of integrated portable radiation cameras AdvaPIX-TPX3 (high performance, fast readout) and MiniPIX-TPX3 and MiniPIX-TPX2 (miniaturized, low power consumption). Data are acquired and visualized online with modular software PIXET.

record_voice_over Jaroslav Nejdl
Laser-driven X-ray sources at ELI Beamlines for science and metrology

ELI Beamlines Centre is a high-power laser facility dedicated to the development and applications of laser-driven sources of X-rays and accelerated particles. In this contribution, we summarize the current status of research and implementation of three types of X-ray sources: the HHG Beamline, the plasma X-ray source, and the Gammatron beamline. The HHG Beamline, which is a source of coherent femtosecond XUV pulses, and the incoherent sub-picosecond hard X-ray plasma source are driven by a 1 kHz laser system. In contrast, the Gammatron beamline, employing an ultrafast hard X-ray source based on radiation of relativistic electrons, is driven by a PW-class 10 Hz laser system. The source parameters and their suitability for metrology and characterization of X-ray optics will be discussed.

record_voice_over Bianca Salmaso
BEaTriX, the new facility to test the ATHENA Mirror Modules

BEaTriX (Beam Expander Testing X-ray) is a unique facility developed at the INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico Brera (Merate, Italy) to perform the X-ray acceptance tests (PSF and Aeff) of the ATHENA Silicon Pore Optics Mirror Modules (MM) at their production rate (2 MM/day). The X-ray beam approximate the one created by an astronomical source (collimated and large), recreated in a small lab (about 9m x 18m) thanks to an innovative design. The first beam line, at the energy of 4.51 keV, is completed. It has a large monochromatic beam collimated to < 3 arcsec, with a flux of 60 photons/s/cm2. The beam size (170 mm × 60 mm) is sufficiently large to cover the entrance pupil of the MMs. The PSF and Aeff of the first optically representative MM were performed. The presentation will describe the facility, the results obtained so far and the ongoing study for the 1.49 keV and 6.4 keV beam lines, to be possibly replicated at the cosine premises.

record_voice_over James Tutt
The tREXS focal plane camera (View PDF)

The Rocket for Extended-source X-ray Spectroscopy (tREXS) was designed to produce a line-spread-function that was tightly focused in the dispersion direction, but that extended over 300 mm in the cross-dispersion direction. To make sure that all of the dispersed light would be collected by the focal plane camera, 11 CIS113 Vega sensors had to be tiled onto the focal plane. These detectors had to be under vacuum, cooled, and the entire focal plane had to be read out every 15 seconds. The challenges of using a large, custom focal plane were further increased due to the nature of a sub-orbital rocket launch vehicle. This presentation will discuss the tREXS focal plane camera, including design requirements, challenges in the focal plane assembly and integration into the rocket payload, and detector performance pre, during, and post flight. The sub-systems that had to be developed to allow for a large, liquid nitrogen cooled focal plane to be used on a sub-orbital rocket will also be described.

receipt Martin Urban
Timepix3 semiconductor radiation detector and its usage in the wide temperature range

The Timepix3 is a hybrid pixel-particle-counting radiation detector based on an ASIC chip designed at CERN, which contains a 256 px × 256 px matrix. This version of the detector allows simultaneous measurement of energy and time of arrival or a combination of integral energy with a count of particles. This poster presents the usage of a detector for sensing radiation in the energy range of up to 100 keV and in a wide temperature range. The effect on the distortion of the measured energy spectra with the proposed possibility of compensating for the resulting deviation is also included in this contribution.

X-ray and High-Energy Astrophysics (5)

record_voice_over Martin Jelínek
Gamma-ray burst of September 19, 2019: Flare and bump solution (View PDF)

We studied the optical and gamma-ray behaviour of the long GRB 190919B detected by INTEGRAL and followed-up by several groud-based robotic telescopes, in particular the robotic telescope FRAM at Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina. We present the results of our analysis, explaining the unusually steep rise as a flare of the inner-engine origin whose light gets dominated after several tens of seconds by a rising hydrodynamic afterglow emission peak. Our proposed solution is in good agreement with the relativistic fireball theory, both in spectral and temporal domain, and satisfies the closure relations for expansion into a constant density interstellar medium.

record_voice_over Vladimir Karas
Spectral signatures from evolving black hole accretion rings (View PDF)

In nuclei of galaxies strong tidal forces cause damage and disruption of stars passing within a critical distance from the central supermassive black hole (SMBH). Spectral signatures of this process depend on the environment around the SBMH horizon and the level of its accretion activity. We consider a system where the material remnant from the disrupted star forms a system of nested gaseous rings that spread in radius by action of viscous process. The evolving spectral features provide a way to reveal the parameters of the system, namely, the distance of the remnant gas from the SMBH, the radial extent of the gaseous trail, and the spin of the SMBH.

record_voice_over Gabriel Török
The mass, spin and rapid X-ray variability of accreting compact objects (View PDF)

The past three decades of observations with X-ray satellites have brought a large amount of data of rapid variability of black holes and neutron stars. We present a short review of models of quasi-periodic oscillations with the emphasis on the recent progress. Following the previous research on epicyclic oscillations of accretion disks around black holes and neutron stars, a new model of high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations considering radial precession of accretion flow has been proposed. We discuss in detail the possibility that the quasi-periodic oscillations originate in a collective motion of matter in the innermost accretion region. Finaly, we summarize the related implications for mass estimates of neutron stars in low mass X-ray binaries.

receipt Martin Jelínek
The new photometric pipeline of the D50 robotic telescope

The need for precise phptometric callibration obtained in real-time for images obtained with a robotic telescope is an absolute necessity in order to be able to provide automated alerts on changes of brightness of astrophysical objects. I will show the technique and results of the current version of the photometric pipeline of the robotic telescope D50 in Ondrejov. At present, the calibration is performed against magnitudes provided by the Atlas catalogue. The photometric fit includes color fitting and spatial correction, and permits usage of large number of frames in order to estimate the parameters that are not readily available by fitting a single image. By the end of October 2022, the pipeline has been used to process ~800k images and provided photometry of ~800M unique objects detected in these images.

receipt Vladimir Karas
Modelling polarization of black-hole accretion discs (an update) (View PDF)

X-ray polarization measurements have reached maturity. Here revisit the modelling of black-hole accretion disc with a primary illuminating source on the rotational axis. The primary X-ray power-law radiation is Compton reflected from the disc towards the observer. The gravitational field of a rotating black hole influences the photon properties on its way from the primary source to the disc and from the primary source and accretion disc to a distant observer. We study the polarization properties of the radiation how they are predicted within this scheme; namely, the degree and the angle of polarization are examined as functions of the black hole parameters.

Others (6)

record_voice_over Rene Hudec
AXRO introduction and historical background (View PDF)

The AXRO history is related to the history of X–ray astronomy in general and to the history of X-ray optics developments in the Czech Republic (and formerly in Czechoslovakia) in particular. The first Czech X-ray mirror was built already in the years 1969/1970, for a solar telescope within the Eastern Europe/Soviet INTERKOSMOS program, There were also essential efforts devoted to the development of novel tech- nologies for satellite projects which were either cancelled or interrupted. The two wasted years of development on the technology of high quality Ni foils for the Danish SODART telescope (Schnopper, 1990), 1986-1988, can serve as an example. The SOviet-DAnish Roentgen Telescope (SODART) was planned for on board the Spectrum Roentgen Gamma (SRG) satellite equipped with three different instruments devoted to X–ray spectroscopy. Each of the two thin foil telescopes had an 8m focal length, a 60 cm diameter, a 1 deg field-of-view (FOV), a half-power width better than 2 arcmin and ca. 1 700 and 1 200 cm2 collecting area at 2 and 8 keV, respectively. In the last few decades development of innovative technologies continued with an emphasis on glass foils and silicon wafers.

record_voice_over Rene Hudec
Concluding address (View PDF)

record_voice_over Dan Schwartz
Concluding remarks (View PDF)

record_voice_over Alena Solcova
Mysterious Faust House, its Tradition, Legends and Astronomy

History about Faust House

receipt Thorsten Döhring
Insights into the history of X-rays: the Deutsches Röntgen-Museum in Remscheid (View PDF)

In the year 1895, Professor Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen detected a new type of radiation that was able to penetrate solid materials. He himself called them X-rays. To honour this ground-braking discovery, in 1901 Röntgen was appointed as the first Nobel Prize laureate in physics. The Deutsches Röntgen Museum (DRM) in Remscheid (Germany) is the unique institution that comprehensively explores, documents, and mediates life, work, and impact of W. C. Röntgen. The location of the Deutsches Röntgen Museum in the city of Remscheid is of course no coincidence. Röntgen's birthplace is only a short walk away from the museum. Every visit of this famous museum is an expedition through the worlds of medicine, science, and technology. The museum focus on the diversity of Röntgen´s invention by a multi-media and multilingual approach to ensure that every visitor can make his own individual discoveries. The Deutsches Röntgen Museum in Remscheid should be a place of pilgrimage for all X-ray scientists around the world. This contribution presents an insight to the history of X-rays and gives a guided tour to the Deutsches Röntgen Museum and its exhibits.

receipt Thorsten Döhring
X-ray honour gallery – award winners of the Röntgen Medal (View PDF)

Starting in 1951, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the award of the first Nobel Prize for physics to Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, the Lord Mayor of the German City of Remscheid has given out Röntgen Medals. The Röntgen Medal annually honours scientists who "in the broadest sense have made a special contribution to the progress and dissemination of X-ray discoveries in the theoretical and applied sciences". The Röntgen Medal has become highly recognized in the scientific world. To date, more than one hundred excellent scientist have received this honour. Through their chronology, this contribution presents a "Who’s Who" of X-ray science and provides selected insights into their scientific work; with special focus to the fields of X-ray optics and X-ray astronomy.

record_voice_over - Talks (38) receipt - Posters (6)