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11 March 2003 Design and flight performance of a crystal diffraction telescope
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We present the design and performance of the gamma-ray lens telescope CLAIRE, which flew on a stratospheric balloon on June 14, 2001. The objective of this project is to validate the concept of a Laue diffraction lens for nuclear astrophysics. Instruments of this type, benefiting from the dramatic improvement of the signal/noise ratio brought about by focusing, will combine unprecedented sensitivities with high angular resolution. CLAIRE's lens consists of Ge-Si mosaic crystals, focusing gamma-ray photons from its 505 cm2 area onto a small solid state detector, with only 7.2 cm3 volume for background noise. The diffracted energy of 170 keV results in a focal length of 279 cm, yet the entire payload weighed under 500 kg. CLAIRE was launched by the French Space Agency (CNES) from its balloon base at Gap in the French Alps (Southeast of France) and was recovered near Bordeaux in the Southwest of France after roughly 5 hours at float altitude. After presenting the principle of a diffraction lens, the CLAIRE 2001 flight is analyzed in terms of pointing accuracy, background noise and diffraction efficiency of the lens.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Hubert Halloin, Peter von Ballmoos, Jean Evrard, Gerald K. Skinner, Nikolai V. Abrosimov, Pierre Bastie, Guido Di Cocco, Michel George, Bernard Hamelin, Pierre Jean, Juergen Knoedlseder, Philippe Laporte, Carles Badenes, Phillipe Laurent, and Robert K. Smither "Design and flight performance of a crystal diffraction telescope", Proc. SPIE 4851, X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Telescopes and Instruments for Astronomy, (11 March 2003);


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