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The science requirements for an X-ray Observatory to be deployed in the post-XMM-Newton and Chandra era have been widely debated. Future spectroscopic investigations will require an enormous increase in collecting area to enable the use of the next generation of advanced spectrometers that will provide the necessary plasma diagnostics capability. The key breakthrough needed is to combine a lightweight material which exhibits excellent X-ray reflecting properties, whilst achieving a self-supporting construction that avoids the distortions inherent in fixation of the optics elements. The progress towards such a breakthrough is reported in this Technical Note, describing a successful proof of concept demonstration of many disparate technology advances across a broad development front. More detailed aspects of some of the development activities are provided in the comprehensive suite of papers presented at the 2006 SPIE Annual Symposium. Links to those papers are provided at:

http://www.rssd.esa.int/index.php?project=XEUS&page=SPIE_Documents

This note provides a brief overview of critical issues and some recent updates since the publication of the above papers.
Published: 02 March 2007
The objectives of the study were to perform a system conceptual design and trades, prepare a preliminary system design including budgets and subsystem designs with required performance, show science requirements compliance, define critical design issues requiring further analysis and assess and analyse programme, risk and costs. Further the constraints imposed by the chosen design were analysed and described, where appropriate. This document reports on the analysis performed and conclusions drawn for an X-ray Evolving Universe Spectroscopy conceptual design.
Published: 02 September 2004
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