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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-06-06
    Description: We present measurements of high fill-factor arrays of superconducting transition-edge x-ray microcalorimeters designed to provide rapid thermalization of the x-ray energy. We designed an x-ray absorber that is cantilevered over the sensitive part of the thermometer itself, making contact only at normal metal-features. With absorbers made of electroplated gold, we have demonstrated an energy resolution between 2.4 and 3.1 eV at 5.9 keV on 13 separate pixels. We have determined the thermal and electrical parameters of the devices throughout the superconducting transition, and, using these parameters, have modeled all aspects of the detector performance.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2004-12-03
    Description: A sample return container is being developed by Honeybee Robotics to receive samples from a derivative of the Champollion/ST4 Sample Acquisition and Transfer Mechanism or other samplers and then hermetically seal samples for a sample return mission. The container is enclosed in a phase change material (PCM) chamber to prevent phase change during return and re-entry to earth. This container is designed to operate passively with no motors and actuators. Using the sampler's featured drill tip for interfacing, transfer-ring and sealing samples, the container consumes no electrical power and therefore minimizes sample temperature change. The circular container houses a few isolated canisters, which will be sealed individually for samples acquired from different sites or depths. The drill based sampler indexes each canister to the sample transfer position, below the index interface for sample transfer. After sample transfer is completed, the sampler indexes a seal carrier, which lines up seals with the openings of the canisters. The sampler moves to the sealing interface and seals the sample canisters one by one. The sealing interface can be designed to work with C-seals, knife edge seals and cup seals. Again, the sampler provides all sealing actuation. This sample return container and co-engineered sample acquisition system are being developed by Honeybee Robotics in collaboration with the JPL Exploration Technology program.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography
    Type: Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration; Part 1; 182-183; LPI-Contrib-1062-Pt-1
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2011-08-23
    Description: XRS is the microcalorimeter X-ray detector aboard the US-Japanese ASTRO-E observatory, which is scheduled to be launched in early 2000. XRS is a high resolution spectrometer- with less than 9 eV resolution at 3 keV and better than 14 eV resolution over its bandpass ranging from about 0.3 keV to 15 keV. Here we present the results of our first calibration of the XRS instrument. We describe the methods used to extract detailed information about the detection efficiency and spectral redistribution of the instrument. We also present comparisons of simulations and real data to test our detector models.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The Primordial Inflation Explorer (PIXIE) is an Explorer-class mission concept designed to measure the polarization and absolute intensity of the cosmic microwave background [1]. In this work, we report on the design, fabrication, and performance of the multimode polarization-sensitive bolometers for PIXIE, which are based on silicon thermistors. In particular we focus on several recent advances in the detector design, including the implementation of a tensioning scheme to greatly raise the frequencies of the internal vibrational modes of the large-area, low-mass optical absorber structure consisting of a grid of micromachined, ion-implanted silicon wires. With 30 times the absorbing area of the spider-web bolometers used by Planck, the tensioning scheme enables the PIXIE bolometers to be robust in the vibrational and acoustic environment at launch of the space mission. More generally, it could be used to reduce microphonic sensitivity in other types of low temperature detectors. We also report on the performance of the PIXIE bolometers in a dark cryogenic environment.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN33273 , SPIE Astronomical Telescopes & Instrumentation 2016; 26 Jun. - 1 Jul. 2016; Edinburgh, Scotland; United Kingdom
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: This document describes a high-TRL backup implementation of the anti-coincidence detector for the IXO/XMS instrument. The backup detector, hereafter referred to as the low-voltage silicon ionization detector (LVSID), has been successfully flown on Astro-E2 (Suzaku)/XRS and is currently being implemented, without significant changes, on the Astro-H/SXS instrument. The LVSID anti-coincidence detector on Astro-E2/XRS operated successfully for almost 2 years, and was not affected by the loss of liquid helium in that instrument. The LVSID continues to operate after almost 5 years on-orbit (LEO, 550 km) but with slightly increased noise following the expected depletion of solid Neon after 22 months. The noise of the device is increased after the loss of sNe due to thermally induced bias and readout noise. No radiation damage, or off-nominal affects have been observed with the LVSID on-orbit during the Astro-E2/XRS program. A detector die from the same fabrication run will be used on the Astro-H/SXS mission. The LVSID technology and cryogenic JFET readout system is thus TRL 9. The technology is described in detail in section 2. The IXO/XMS "backup-up" anti-coincidence detector is a small array of LVSID detectors that are almost identical to those employed for Astro -E2/XRS as described in this document. The readout system is identical and, infact would use the same design as the Astro -E2/XRS JFET amplifier module (19 channels) essentially without changes except for its mechanical mount. The changes required for the IXO/XMS LVSID array are limited to the mounting of the LVSID detectors, and the mechanical mounting of the JFET amplifier sub-assembly. There is no technical development needed for the IXO/XMS implementation and the technology is ready for detailed design-work leading to PDR. The TRL level is thus at least 6, and possibly higher. Characteristics of an IXO/XMS LVSID anti-co detector are given in Table 1 and described in detail in section 3.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography
    Type: SRON-XMS-PL-2009-004
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: Planetary plasma and magnetic field environments can be studied in two complementary ways by in situ measurements, or by remote sensing. While the former provide precise information about plasma behaviour, instabilities and dynamics on local scales, the latter offers the global view necessary to understand the overall interaction of the magnetospheric plasma with the solar wind. Some parts of the Earth's magnetosphere have been remotely sensed, but the majority remains unexplored by this type of measurements. Here we propose a novel and more elegant approach employing remote X-ray imaging techniques, which are now possible thanks to the relatively recent discovery of solar wind charge exchange X-ray emissions in the vicinity of the Earth's magnetosphere. In this article we describe how an appropriately designed and located X-ray telescope, supported by simultaneous in situ measurements of the solar wind, can be used to image the dayside magnetosphere, magnetosheath and bow shock, with a temporal and spatial resolution sufficient to address several key outstanding questions concerning how the solar wind interacts with the Earth's magnetosphere on a global level. Global images of the dayside magnetospheric boundaries require vantage points well outside the magnetosphere. Our studies have led us to propose AXIOM: Advanced X-ray Imaging Of the Magnetosphere, a concept mission using a Vega launcher with a LISA Pathfinder-type Propulsion Module to place the spacecraft in a Lissajous orbit around the Earth Moon L1 point. The model payload consists of an X-ray Wide Field Imager, capable of both imaging and spectroscopy, and an in situ plasma and magnetic field measurement package. This package comprises a Proton-Alpha Sensor, designed to measure the bulk properties of the solar wind, an Ion Composition Analyser, to characterize the minor ion populations in the solar wind that cause charge exchange emission, and a Magnetometer, designed to measure the strength and direction of the solar wind magnetic field. We also show simulations that demonstrate how the proposed X-ray telescope design is capable of imaging the predicted emission from the dayside magnetosphere with the sensitivity and cadence required to achieve the science goals of the mission.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography
    Type: GSFC.JA.5094.2011
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: This paper will describe the objectives of the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Solar Ultraviolet Magnetograph Investigation (SUMI) and the optical components that have been developed to meet those objectives. In order to test the scientific feasibility of measuring magnetic fields in the UV, a sounding rocket payload is being developed. This paper will discuss: (1) the scientific measurements that will be made by the SUMI sounding rocket program, (2) how the optics have been optimized for simultaneous measurements of two magnetic lines CIV (1550Angstroms) and MgII (2800Angstroms), and (3) the optical, reflectance, transmission and polarization measurements that have been made on the SUMI telescope mirrors and polarimeter.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography
    Type: SPIE Paper 5488-132 , UV and Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Systems (ISSN 0277-786X); 5488; 801-812|UV and Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Systems; 21-24 Jun. 2004; Glasgow, Scotland; United Kingdom
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: X-ray microcalorimeters using transition-edge sensors (TES) show great promise for use in astronomical x-ray spectroscopy. We have obtained very high energy resolution (2.8 electronvolts at 1.5 kiloelectronvolts and 3.7 electronvolts at 3.3 kiloelectronvolts) in a large, isolated TES pixel using a Mo/Au proximity-effect bilayer on a silicon nitride membrane. We will discuss the performance and our characterization of that device. In order to be truly suitable for use behind an x-ray telescope, however, such devices need to be arrayed with a pixel size and focal-plane coverage commensurate with the telescope focal length and spatial resolution. Since this requires fitting the TES and its thermal link, a critical component of each calorimeter pixel, into a far more compact geometry than has previously been investigated, we must study the fundamental scaling laws in pixel optimization. We have designed a photolithography mask that will allow us to probe the range in thermal conductance that can be obtained by perforating the nitride membrane in a narrow perimeter around the sensor. This mask will also show the effects of reducing the TES area. Though we have not yet tested devices of the compact designs, we will present our progress in several of the key processing steps and discuss the parameter space of our intended investigations.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN23171 , Proceedings of SPIE: X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy XI; 4140; 367-375|SPIE Conference on Hard X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Detector Physics; 30 Jul. - 1 Aug. 2000; San Diego, CA,; United States
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We are developing multi-absorber Transition-Edge Sensors (TESs) for applications in x-ray astronomy. These position-sensitive devices consist of multiple x-ray absorbers each with a different thermal coupling to a single readout TES. Heat diffusion between the absorbers and the TES gives rise to a characteristic pulse shape corresponding to each absorber element and enables position discrimination. The development of these detectors is motivated by a desire to maximize focal plane arrays with the fewest number of readout channels. In this contribution we report on the first results from devices consisting of nine) 65 X 65 sq. microns Au x-ray absorbers) 5 microns thick. These are coupled to a single 35 X 35 sq. microns Mo/Au bilayer TES. These devices have demonstrated full-width-half-maximum (FWHM) energy resolution of 2.1 eV at 1.5 keV) 2.5 eV at 5.9 keV and 3.3 eV at 8 keV. This is coupled with position discrimination from pulse shape over the same energy range. We use a finite-element model to reproduce the measured pulse shapes and investigate the detector non-linearity with energy) which impacts on the devices position sensitivity and energy resolution.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography
    Type: GSFC.ABS.6329.2012 , Applied Superconductivity Conference; 7-11 Oct. 2012; Portland, OR; United States
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The Diffuse X-ray emission from the Local Galaxy (DXL) sounding rocket is a NASA approved mission with a scheduled first launch in December 2012. Its goal is to identify and separate the X-ray emission of the SWCX from that of the Local Hot Bubble (LHB) to improve our understanding of both. To separate the SWCX contribution from the LHB. DXL will use the SWCX signature due to the helium focusing cone at 1=185 deg, b=-18 deg, DXL uses large area propostionai counters, with an area of 1.000 sq cm and grasp of about 10 sq cm sr both in the 1/4 and 3/4 keY bands. Thanks to the large grasp, DXL will achieve in a 5 minule flight what cannot be achieved by current and future X-ray satellites.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography
    Type: GSFC.JA.01144.2012 , Astronomical Notes; 333; 4; 383-387
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