Glasses for CuPID?


October 15th, 2019

Optics in a telescope are just like glasses to improve someone’s sight. In the case of visible light, the glass lens refracts the light to the desired pattern. With x-rays, the optics can only deflect the incoming¬† light because the x-rays would pass right though! These optics, called slumped micro-pore optics, and are an array of lead-glass channels that are slumped over a spherical surface creating a grid of square channels that point radially outward from a sphere.

This type of optic is very delicate, so until now, assembly and testing of other flight components has been done without the optic. Though, recently it was installed into the CuPID Cubesat for the first time at Goddard Space Flight Center.

Below, Nick and Ken from GSFC assemble transfer the optic from its storage assembly to the flight chassis assembly. CuPID was given its glasses that day!

Nick removes the storage housing for the optics. The optics are the silver square at the center of the piece.

Ken applies a coating to screws to stake them down from unscrewing during launch vibrations. A vented “remove before flight” cover is added above the optic.