Abstract

We present a detailed study of the performance of the Astro-E x-ray telescope (XRT) onboard the Astro-E satellite. As described in preceding papers the ground-based calibrations of the Astro-E XRT revealed that its image quality and effective area are somewhat worse than that expected from the original design. Conceivable causes for such performance degradation are examined by x-ray and optical microscopic measurements at various levels, such as individual reflectors, sectors, and quadrants of the XRT and their alignments. We can attribute, based on detailed measurements, the degradation of the image quality to a slope error in the individual reflectors and the positioning error of reflectors. As for the deficit of the effective area, the shadowing of x rays within the XRT body is the dominant factor. Error budgets for the performance degradation of the Astro-E XRT are summarized. The ray-tracing simulator, which is needed to construct the response function for arbitrary off-axis angles and spatial distributions of any celestial x-ray sources, has been developed and tuned based on the results of detailed measurements. The ray-tracing simulation provides results that are consistent within 3% with the real measurement except for large off-axis angles and higher energies. We propose, based on knowledge obtained from all the measurements and simulations, several plans for future developments to improve the performance of the nested thin-foil mirrors.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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