Integrated end-to-end metrology and data analysis system for the advanced x-ray astrophysics facility telescope mirrors
The Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF) consists of a nested set of six Wolter Type 1 x-ray telescopes. Each telescope consists of two mirrors (a parabola and a hyperbola). The high resolution optical performance required by AXAF and the size of the mirrors necessitates enormous quantities of data to characterize the optics. We will describe an end-to-end data system to be used for the metrology and fabrication of these 12 mirrors. The data system must have the capability of collecting optic metrology data from several instruments, processing and analyzing data, and generating machine instructions for the next grinding or polishing cycle. This system consists of personal computers interfaced to metrology instruments for the automatic collection of data, personal computers that control grinder/polishers, a mainframe computer for storing and managing data, and workstations for data processing and analysis. All of these computers are networked together to facilitate data transfer between computers. The system also includes an extensive library of software whose functions include processing mechanical and interferometric measurements, fitting polynomials to the data, performing frequency analysis of the data, and doing performance predictions. This data system has been used in the fabrication of the first two AXAF mirrors, produced by Hughes Danbury under contract to TRW. These mirrors are the first in a telescope that will be well beyond the performance of any existing x-ray telescopes.