A new telescope for exploring X-ray objects in space


Part of the X-ray project, focusing on the development of a new X-ray telescope for space applications, has been successfully completed. Space missions continue, as well as preparations for NASA rocket experiment.

The aim of the project was to develop a progressive X-ray telescope using new materials. One of the tasks was to test the new Multi Foil Optics (MFO) in space under QB50 mission on the VZLUSAT-1 nanosatellite, which is on Earth's orbit since June 2017. The aim was to increase the efficiency of the Timepix detector used in combination with the MFO for X-ray energy of 3-30 keV and to ensure the transfer of photo-type data from the nanosatellite pixel sensor by means of a ground receiving and transmitting station.

In addition to verifying functionality on the VZLUSAT-1 nanosatellite, the new X-ray Telescope has ambitions to become part of the NASA rocket experiment within the US Pennsylvania University project. The missile experiment will focus on verifying the optical system for searching for X-ray objects in space. This experiment will be based on a short parabolic test flight, in which scientific instruments reach space for just a few minutes to perform experiments. Then the science equipment will land in the sea. The proven X-ray telescope system will be used to search X-ray objects in space.

The X - ray project was led by Rigaku Innovative Technologies Europe and the following institutions participated: VZLU, CTU UTEF, HVM Plasma and West Bohemian University in Pilsen. Over the course of the project, three dozen results have been produced including function samples, protected utility models and publications in scientific journal and conference proceedings.

The project TA04011295 - Wide Angle X-ray Imaging System with Timepix Detector (2014-2017) was run with the financial support of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic.