24 February 2003 The Astrophysical Plasmadynamic Explorer (APEX): a high-resolution spectroscopic observatory
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EUVE and the ROSAT WFC have left a tremendous legacy in astrophysics at EUV wavelengths. More recently, Chandra and XMM-Newton have demonstrated at X-ray wavelengths the power of high-resolution astronomical spectroscopy, which allows the identification of weak emission lines, the measurement of Doppler shifts and line profiles, and the detection of narrow absorption features. This leads to a thorough understanding of the density, temperature, abundance, magnetic, and dynamic structure of astrophysical plasmas. However, the termination of the EUVE mission has left a gap in spectral coverage at crucial EUV wavelengths (~100-300 Å), where hot (105 - 108 K) plasmas radiate most strongly and produce critical spectral diagnostics. CHIPS will fill this hole only partially as it is optimized for diffuse emission and has only moderate resolution (R~150). For discrete sources, we have successfully flown a follow-on instrument to the EUVE spectrometer (Aeff ~ 1 cm2, R ~ 400), the high-resolution spectrometer J-PEX (Aeff ~ 3 cm2, R ~ 3000). Here we build on the J-PEX prototype and present a strawman design for an orbiting spectroscopic observatory, APEX, a SMEX-class instrument containing a suite of 8 spectrometers that together achieve both high effective area (Aeff > 10 cm2) and high spectral resolution (R ~ 10,000) over the range 100-300 Å. We also discuss alternate configurations for shorter and longer wavelengths.
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Michael P. Kowalski, Michael P. Kowalski, Raymond G. Cruddace, Raymond G. Cruddace, Kent S. Wood, Kent S. Wood, Daryl J. Yentis, Daryl J. Yentis, Herbert Gursky, Herbert Gursky, Troy W. Barbee, Troy W. Barbee, William H. Goldstein, William H. Goldstein, Joseph F. Kordas, Joseph F. Kordas, Gilbert G. Fritz, Gilbert G. Fritz, William R. Hunter, William R. Hunter, Martin Adrian Barstow, Martin Adrian Barstow, Nigel P. Bannister, Nigel P. Bannister, J. Leonard Culhane, J. Leonard Culhane, Jonathan S. Lapington, Jonathan S. Lapington, "The Astrophysical Plasmadynamic Explorer (APEX): a high-resolution spectroscopic observatory", Proc. SPIE 4854, Future EUV/UV and Visible Space Astrophysics Missions and Instrumentation, (24 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.459808; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.459808

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