Progress report on air bearing slumping of thin glass mirrors for x-ray telescopes

Mark L. Schattenburg, Brandon Chalifoux, Michael D. DeTienne, Ralf K. Heilmann, Heng Zuo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


The successful NuSTAR telescope was fabricated with thin glass mirrors formed into conic shapes by thermal slumping of thin glass sheets onto high precision mandrels. While mirrors generated by this process have very good figure, the best mirrors to date have a resolution limited to ∼7 arc sec, due primarily to mid-range scale spatial frequency errors. These mid-range errors are believed to be due to clumping and particulates in the anti-stick coatings used to prevent sticking between mandrel and mirrors. We have developed a new slumping process which avoids sticking and surface-induced mid-range error by floating hot glass substrates between a pair of porous air bearing mandrels through which compressed nitrogen is forced. We report on the design and testing of an improved air bearing slumping tool and show results of short and long slumping cycles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VII
EditorsGiovanni Pareschi, Stephen L. O'Dell, Giovanni Pareschi, Stephen L. O'Dell
ISBN (Electronic)9781628417692, 9781628417692
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VII - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 10 2015Aug 13 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • air bearings
  • glass
  • slumping
  • x-ray mirrors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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