High‐resolution imaging with multilayer telescopes: resolution performance of the MSSTA II telescopes


The Multi-Spectral Solar Telescope Array (MSSTA) is a sounding rocket-borne observatory composed of a set of normal-incidence multilayer-coated telescopes that obtained selected bandpass spectroheliograms of the Solar atmosphere. These spectroheliograms were recorded on specially fabricated XUV and FUV 70mm Kodak film. Rocket launches of this instrument payload took place in 1991 and 1994 at the White Sands Missile Test Range in New Mexico, sponsored by the NASA sounding rocket experiment program. Immediately prior to the 1994 launch, visible light focusing test of each telescope were performed in-situ using a 1951 Standard Air Force High Resolution Test-target, to measure optical resolution performance. We determined that the MSSTA II telescopes performed at diffraction-limited resolutions down to 0.70 arc-second at visible wavelengths. Based on these measurements, we calculated an upper-bound to the focusing errors that incorporate the sum of all uncorrelated system resolution errors that affect resolution performance. Coupling these upper-bound estimates with the in-band diffraction limits, surface scattering errors and payload pointing jitter, we demonstrate that eleven of nineteen MSSTA II telescopes - having negligible figures of focus errors in comparison to the corresponding visible diffraction limits - performed at sub arc-second resolution at their operation FUV/EUV/XUV wavelengths during flight. We estimate the in-band performance down to 0.14 +/- 0.08 second of arc.




Martinez-Galarce, Dennis S., Arthur B. C. Walker II, David B. Gore, Charles C. Kankelborg, Richard B. Hoover, et al. "High-resolution imaging with multilayer telescopes: resolution performance of the MSSTA II telescopes", Proceedings of the SPIE 3766, X-Ray Optics, Instruments, and Missions II, 275 (September 29, 1999); doi:10.1117/12.363662
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