17 September 2012 The on-board data handling concept for the LOFT large area detector
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Abstract
The Large Observatory for X-ray Timing (LOFT) is one of the four candidate ESA M3 missions considered for launch in the timeframe of 2022. It is specifically designed to perform fast X-ray timing and probe the status of the matter near black holes and neutron stars. The LOFT scientific payload consists of a Large Area Detector and a Wide Field Monitor. The LAD is a 10m2-class pointed instrument with high spectral (200 eV @ 6 keV) and timing (< 10 μs) resolution over the 2-80 keV range. It is designed to observe persistent and transient X-ray sources with a very large dynamic range from a few mCrab up to an intensity of 15 Crab. An unprecedented large throughput (~280.000 cts/s from the Crab) is achieved with a segmented detector, making pile-up and dead-time, often worrying or limiting focused experiments, secondary issues. We present the on-board data handling concept that follows the highly segmented and hierarchical structure of the instrument from the front-end electronics to the on-board software. The system features customizable observation modes ranging from event-by-event data for sources below 0.5 Crab to individually adjustable time resolved spectra for the brighter sources. On-board lossless data compression will be applied before transmitting the data to ground.
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S. Suchy, P. Uter, C. Tenzer, A. Santangelo, A. Argan, M. Feroci, T. E. Kennedy, P. J. Smith, D. Walton, S. Zane, J. Portell, E. García-Berro, "The on-board data handling concept for the LOFT large area detector", Proc. SPIE 8443, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 84435M (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925663; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.925663
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