The X-ray Imaging Laboratory

The X-ray Imaging Laboratory (affiliated to Space Science Division).

NAOC has founded the X-ray Imaging Laboratory (XIL) for X-ray focusing technology. XIL, which is the forerunner of Micro-Pore Optics (MPO) in China, and has been developing MPO technology for several years, and is capable of designing MPO telescopes, building prototypes for MPO optics assembles and measuring the performances of prototypes. MPO is one of the novel X-ray focusing technologies with the largest effective area to weight ratio, i.e., one of the most compact X-ray optics technology. One configuration of MPO, called Lobster-Eye with a very large instantaneous field of view (FOV) of thousands of square degrees, is unique within X-ray optics. A consensus has agreed that the application of Lobster-Eye optics will boost the developments of time-domain astronomy so significantly that it may revolutionize our understanding of the universe and its physical processes. Driven by the exciting science that can be achieved with MPO, several of China’s future X-ray astronomical missions are proposed to carry MPO instruments onboard, such as XTP, NEATER, EP and ASM.