Aims. The focusing performance of X-ray optics (conveniently expressed in terms of HEW, Half Energy Width) strongly depend on both mirrors deformations and photon scattering caused by the microroughness of reflecting surfaces. In particular, the contribution of X-ray Scattering (XRS) to the HEW of the optic is usually an increasing function H(E) of the photon energy E. Therefore, in future hard X-ray imaging telescopes of the future (SIMBOL-X, NeXT, Constellation-X, XEUS), the X-ray scattering could be the dominant problem since they will operate also in the hard X-ray band (i.e. beyond 10 keV). In order to ensure the imaging quality at all energies, clear requirements have to be established in terms of reflecting surfaces microroughness. Methods. Several methods were proposed in the past years to estimate the scattering contribution to the HEW, dealing with the surface microroughness expressed in terms of its Power Spectral Density (PSD), on the basis of the well-established theory of X-ray scattering from rough surfaces. We faced that problem on the basis on the same theory, but we tried a new approach: the direct, analytical translation of a given surface roughness PSD into a H(E) trend, and – vice versa – the direct translation of a H(E) requirement into a surface PSD. This PSD represents the maximum tolerable microroughness level in order to meet the H(E) requirement in the energy band of a given X-ray telescope. Results. We have thereby found a new, analytical and widely applicable formalism to compute the XRS contribution to the HEW from the surface PSD, provided that the PSD had been measured in a wide range of spatial frequencies. The inverse problem was als
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