X-Ray Calibration Facility (XRCF)
Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has maintained and operated a world-class
x-ray and visible optic and detector testing facility since the mid 1970's.
It includes an optically clean, thermally controlled vacuum chamber 22.9
meters (75 ft) long and 7.3 meters (24ft) in diameter; a 518 meters (1700
ft) vacuum tube connects an x-ray source to the vacuum chamber. The vacuum
chamber has liquid nitrogen panels and heater panels to simulate deep
space environment and to maintain accurate thermal stability.
The original purpose of the XRCF was to simulate x-ray emissions from
a distant celestial objects and it is the largest facility of its kind
in the world. In 1999 the XRCF was upgraded with a 1 kW helium refrigerator
and cryogenic shroud to test Next Generation Space Telescope developmental
lightweight visible optics at cryogenic temperatures of 35 Kelvin (-397
degrees F), without compromising the existing x-ray testing capability.
several wave front measuring devices mounted to a 5 Degree of Freedom
(5DoF) stage and a 5DoF optical mount were added to increase the facility
capability in the visible spectrum as part of the Next Generation Space