Analytical alignment tolerances for off-plane reflection grating spectroscopy

Ryan Allured, Randall T. McEntaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Future NASA X-ray Observatories will shed light on a variety of high-energy astrophysical phenomena. Off-plane reflection gratings can be used to provide high throughput and spectral resolution in the 0.3-1.5 keV band, allowing for unprecedented diagnostics of energetic astrophysical processes. A grating spectrometer consists of multiple aligned gratings intersecting the converging beam of a Wolter-I telescope. Each grating will be aligned such that the diffracted spectra overlap at the focal plane. Misalignments will degrade both spectral resolution and effective area. In this paper we present an analytical formulation of alignment tolerances that define grating orientations in all six degrees of freedom. We verify our analytical results with raytrace simulations to fully explore the alignment parameter space. We also investigate the effect of misalignments on diffraction efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-677
Number of pages17
JournalExperimental Astronomy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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