BepiColombo - the mission to Mercury


The MIXS optics were designed with inspiration from a lobster’s eye. This is because instead of using lenses, like how our eyes work, it uses mirrors to reflect the light. There are lots of small channels that allow the X-rays to be reflected and focused onto the detector. The optics are made of glass, but are iridium coated, to allow for this reflection to occur. The optics are also coated with a film of aluminum to stop stray light washing out the image on the detector. 

xray optic closeup

Image caption: A zoomed in image of the MIXS optics, showing different channels.


There are two channels to MIXS, MIXS-C and MIXS-T. MIXS-C is a collimator which has a large field of view and so will provide global coverage of Mercury. 

MIXS-T is a telescope which will provide high resolution local coverage. 

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