29 July 2010 Using ACIS on the Chandra X-ray Observatory as a particle radiation monitor
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Abstract
The Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) is one of two focal-plane instruments on the Chandra X-ray Observatory. During initial radiation-belt passes, the exposed ACIS suffered significant radiation damage from trapped soft protons scattering off the x-ray telescope's mirrors. The primary effect of this damage was to increase the charge-transfer inefficiency (CTI) of the ACIS 8 front-illuminated CCDs. Subsequently, the Chandra team implemented procedures to remove the ACIS from the telescope's focus during high-radiation events: planned protection during radiation-belt transits; autonomous protection triggered by an on-board radiation monitor; and manual intervention based upon assessment of space-weather conditions. However, as Chandra's multilayer insulation ages, elevated temperatures have reduced the effectiveness of the on-board radiation monitor for autonomous protection. Here we investigate using the ACIS CCDs themselves as a radiation monitor. We explore the 10-year database to evaluate the CCDs' response to particle radiation and to compare this response with other radiation data and environment models.
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C. E. Grant, B. LaMarr, M. W. Bautz, S. L. O'Dell, "Using ACIS on the Chandra X-ray Observatory as a particle radiation monitor", Proc. SPIE 7732, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 77322I (29 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857629; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.857629
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