ATHENA (Advanced Telescope for High-ENergy Astrophysics) is a next-generation X-ray telescope selected by ESA within its Cosmic Vision L2 program. It will provide advanced X-ray imaging and spectroscopy of the hot, million-degree Universe.
The telescope is a Wolter X-ray telescope with a focal length around 12 m based on Silicon Pore Optics (SPO). Special issues for the ATHENA telescope are the possible scattering of micro-meteoroids through the mirror shells, the creation of scratches on the mirrors and possible damages to the large X-ray detector in the focal plane. The Institute for Space Systems with project lead PD Dr. Ing Ralf Srama leads a study investigating the scattering effects of micrometeoroids in the ATHENA mirror system. This study is a collaboration with partners in Germany, the United States and the Netherlands.