11 July 2016 The Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) CubeSats: spectrometer characterization techniques, spectrometer capabilities, and solar science objectives
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Abstract
The Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) are twin 3U CubeSats. The first of the twin CubeSats (MinXSS-1) launched in December 2015 to the International Space Station for deployment in mid-2016. Both MinXSS CubeSats utilize a commercial off the shelf (COTS) X-ray spectrometer from Amptek to measure the solar irradiance from 0.5 to 30 keV with a nominal 0.15 keV FWHM spectral resolution at 5.9 keV, and a LASP-developed X-ray broadband photometer with similar spectral sensitivity. MinXSS design and development has involved over 40 graduate students supervised by professors and professionals at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The majority of previous solar soft X-ray measurements have been either at high spectral resolution with a narrow bandpass or spectrally integrating (broadband) photometers. MinXSS will conduct unique soft X-ray measurements with moderate spectral resolution over a relatively large energy range to study solar active region evolution, solar flares, and the effects of solar soft X-ray emission on Earth’s ionosphere. This paper focuses on the X-ray spectrometer instrument characterization techniques involving radioactive X-ray sources and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Synchrotron Ultraviolet Radiation Facility (SURF). Spectrometer spectral response, spectral resolution, response linearity are discussed as well as future solar science objectives.
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Christopher Samuel Moore, Christopher Samuel Moore, Thomas N. Woods, Thomas N. Woods, Amir Caspi, Amir Caspi, James Paul Mason, James Paul Mason, "The Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) CubeSats: spectrometer characterization techniques, spectrometer capabilities, and solar science objectives", Proc. SPIE 9905, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 990509 (11 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231945; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2231945
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