Plasma Thermal Spray Coating of X-ray Optics

From 7/31-8/3/23, Stephen Bongiorno (ST12) traveled to ReliaCoat Technologies (RcT) in Bohemia, NY with collaborator Suzanne Romaine (SAO) to supervise plasma thermal spray coating of an X-ray optic for the Merging Technologies project.  For this project, the ART-XC M20 mandrel was polished at MSFC and the figure improved from the original 8.5 to 6.2 arcsec metrology predicted HPD.  A layer of nickel cobalt was electroformed onto the mandrel at MSFC and the coated mandrel was shipped to RcT, where it was plasma thermal spray coated with a low-density, high-stiffness layer of aluminum oxide ceramic.  This larger ART-XC M20 ceramic-coated shell will allow us, for the first time, to measure the axial figure of a ceramic-coated shell with the Vertical Long Trace Profilometer at MSFC and inform improvements to the plasma thermal spray process.  The eventual goal of this project is to produce replicated X-ray optics that are significantly lighter per effective area than pure nickel or nickel cobalt replicated X-ray optics.

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