Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Photo of Professor Casey DeRoo

Assistant Professor Casey DeRoo and his research group will collaborate with researchers at Pennsylvania State University on a NASA grant entitled “Large-Format X-ray Zone Plates: Enabling Flight-like Calibrations for Future Missions.”

This $17,268 award is a one-year proof of concept award from NASA’s Astrophysics Research and Analysis (APRA) program. In collaboration with PSU, the DeRoo group is designing a “zone plate,” an optic that can help test X-ray telescopes under flight-like conditions. This is an advantage since current testing of telescopes requires doing so with X-ray sources that are really close compared to the astronomical sources we observe lightyears away.

The University of Iowa team will design the zone plate and help to develop the test conditions, while PSU is responsible for fabricating the zone plate using state-of-the-art nanofabrication techniques.

Zone Plate prototype
A prototype zone plate from Menz 2016 similar to those being designed by the DeRoo group.