Presentation Open Access

Constructing a User Interface for the Alignment of CAT Gratings

Moraga, Paula

Thesis supervisor(s)

Hertz, Ed; Cheimets, Peter

The objective of this project is to integrate existing software programs into a single software interface that will allow a user to align Arcus critical angle transmission (CAT) gratings before they are bonded to their frames, making grating facets. CAT gratings allow x-ray photons to pass through at an angle that matches the grazing incidence angle, hence the name critical angle transmission gratings. Arcus, an x-ray spectrometer, will require 704 aligned grating facets. Because these gratings are produced with a small amount of error, they must be aligned in 6 axes (translation and rotation) before they are bonded to a facet frame. This is done so that any two of the resulting grating facets can be interchangeable with each other. The current process used to align these gratings requires two people to exchange measurements and to manually input corrections to alignment: one to control the movement of the Hexapod, a six-legged stage on which the grating will be placed, and the other to perform the data analysis used to calculate the required adjustments. This is impractical for the large scale operation that will be required for the flight-build, causing a need for a simplified alignment process that is completely and comprehensively planned out and that eliminates the possibility of operator error. This project specifically focuses on rewriting the existing C# and Matlab programs used to record alignment data and demonstrate when alignment has been achieved. The code written in Python will take data, indicate which Hexapod axes to move to achieve alignment and determine that the misalignment has been completely removed. There are future plans to finish building the GUI by including code that will aid in the movement of the Hexapod, and building the user interface around it.

This work was supported through the NSF-REU Solar Physics program at SAO, grant number AGS-1560313
Files (15.0 MB)
Name Size
1.9 MB Download
13.1 MB Download
All versions This version
Views 1616
Downloads 1515
Data volume 51.0 MB51.0 MB
Unique views 1414
Unique downloads 1111


Cite as