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20 December 2001 HERMES: an imaging x-ray fluorescence spectrometer for the BepiColombo mission to Mercury
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We describe HERMES (High Energy Remote-Sensing of Mercury's Surface), a novel X-ray imaging spectrometer for potential accommodation in the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) component of ESA's BepiColombo mission to Mercury. The instrument combines recently developed micro channel plate optics with large-format compound semiconductor imaging arrays. MCP optics offer the distinct advantage of a large collecting area coupled to arcminute angular resolution in a light-weight package and short focal length. Measurements on a prototype optic indicate it should be possible to achieve an angular resolution below 1 arcmin over a fov of 1 degree(s). Energy resolution of 270 eV FWHM at 5.9 keV has been achieved at room temperature for a prototype GaAs array. We estimate that HERMES will detect ~2000 x-ray fluorescent photons s-1 from the surface of Mercury during solar quiet conditions at the pericenter of the orbit. The maximum expected surface spatial resolution from this altitude is ~200m and the fov 40 km2. Over the orbiter's 2 year mission life, HERMES will provide the first very high resolution compositional maps of any planetary surface.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Alan Owens, Marcos Bavdaz, Marco W. Beijersbergen, Adam N. Brunton, George W. Fraser, D. Martin, P. Nieminen, Anthony J. Peacock, and M. G. Pia "HERMES: an imaging x-ray fluorescence spectrometer for the BepiColombo mission to Mercury", Proc. SPIE 4506, Soft X-Ray and EUV Imaging Systems II, (20 December 2001);


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