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BEaTriX (Beam Expander Testing X-ray Facility) is a facility at INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico Brera in its Merate seat (Lecco). It represents the first realization of an instrument with an parallel and wide X-ray beam.
The prime goal of BEaTriX is to prove that it is possible to perform the acceptance tests of the optical components of the ATHENA telescope at its production rate.

Design of the BEaTriX laboratory

Design of the BEaTriX laboratory

ATHENA is an observatory for X-rays of the European Space Agency, with launch foreseen for early 2030’s.
The telescope is made by several hundreds of optical modules (Mirror Module, MM) in silicon (Silicon Pore Optics, SPO) that have to be assembled. The MM, produced with the consolidated silicon technology developed by the semiconductor industry, will be produced at the rate of 2 MM/day and they have to be tested for acceptance prior to integration.

At present, the MM are tested at the BESSY II synchrotron facility in Berlin, but the synchrotron X-ray beam is parallel but small and does not cover the full aperture of the modules. The MM are also tested at PANTER, a facility of the Max-Planck-Institut für Extra-terrestrische Physik, close to Munich in Germany, but the vacuum chamber is very large and several days are necessary to reach the vacuum needed for the measurements.

 
Artistic view of Athena Telescope (Credit ESA).

Artistic view of Athena Telescope (Credit ESA).

Conceptual design of the mirror structure - left, mirror assembly and accommodation - right, mirror modules and stacks (Credit ESA, Cosine and ACO Team)

Conceptual design of the mirror structure - left, mirror assembly and accommodation - right, mirror modules and stacks (Credit ESA, Cosine and ACO Team).

 
 

INAF-OABrera has started in 2012 to design a unique facility with the aim to overcome the limitations of the existing facilities. It was at first financed by the AHEAD consortium (Activities for the High-Energy Astrophysics Domain), with grant from the Horizon-2020 European program.
Owing the reached results, INAF-OABrera has received other funds to realize the laboratory: an ESA contract, a second AHEAD grant, ASI and INAF funds.

BEaTriX has been designed with flexibility, to enable in the future its use for the testing of other X-ray optics, with different size and focal length from the ATHENA MMs.

The current status of the facility in Merate, Lecco - Autumn 2021

The current status of the facility in Merate, Lecco - Autumn 2021.

 
BEaTriX team
 
 
Name Role Affiliation
Gianpiero Tagliaferri Project Leader INAF-OAB
Giovanni Pareschi Deputy Project Leader INAF-OAB
Bianca Salmaso Program manager & System Engineer INAF-OAB
Stefano Basso AIT & AIV Executive Manager INAF-OAB
Daniele Spiga Optical Design and calibration INAF-OAB
Mauro Ghigo Vacuum System, Polishing and figuring and control software INAF-OAB
Gabriele Vecchi Polishing and figuring INAF-OAB
Giorgia Sironi Metrology INAF-OAB
Vincenzo Cotroneo Figuring INAF-OAB
Andrea Bianco Clean environment INAF-OAB
Rachele Millul Project Controller INAF-OAB
Roberto Moncalvi Contracts Officer INAF-OAB
Claudio Ferrari Crystals IMEM-CNR
Andrea Zappettini Crystals IMEM-CNR
Vadim Burwitz Validation MPE
Manuel Sanchez del Rio Crystals ESRF
Michela Uslenghi Detectors INAF-IASF-Mi
Mauro Fiorini Electronics INAF-IASF-Mi
Finn Christensen External advisor DTU
Desiree Della Monica Ferreira Coating DTU
Sonny Massahi Coating DTU
 
 
 
Logos for partners INAF Web Site ESA Web Site ESFR - The European Synchrotron Web Site IMEM - CNR - Web Site MPE - Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics Web Site DTU - Technical University of Denmark Web Site
Banner (by Stefano Basso): BEaTriX facility - INAF Astronomical Observatory of Brera site of Merate (LC) - Web page credits: B. Salmaso, D. Spiga and the BEaTriX Team - M.R. Panzera