19 July 2016 In-flight performance of the Soft X-ray Spectrometer detector system on Astro-H
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The SXS instrument was launched aboard the Astro-H observatory on February 17, 2016. The SXS spectrometer is based on a high sensitivity x-ray calorimeter detector system that has been successfully deployed in many ground and sub-orbital spectrometers. The instrument was to provide essential diagnostics for nearly every class of x-ray emitting objects from the atmosphere of Jupiter to the outskirts of galaxy clusters, without degradation for spatially extended objects. The SXS detector system consisted of a 36-pixel cryogenic microcalorimeter array operated at a heat sink temperature of 50 mK. In pre-flight testing, the detector system demonstrated a resolving power of better than 1300 at 6 keV with a simultaneous band-pass from below 0.3 keV to above 12 keV with a timing precision better than 100 μs. In addition, a solid-state anti-coincidence detector was placed directly behind the detector array for background suppression. The detector error budget included the measured interference from the SXS cooling system and the spacecraft. Additional margin for on-orbit gain-stability, and on-orbit spacecraft interference were also included predicting an on-orbit performance that meets or exceeds the 7 eV FWHM at 6 keV requirement. The actual on-orbit spectral resolution was better than 5 eV FWHM at 6 keV, easily satisfying the instrument requirement. Here we discuss the actual on-orbit performance of the SXS detector system and compare this to performance in pre-flight testing and the on-orbit predictions. We will also discuss the on-orbit gain stability, additional on-orbit interference, and measurements of the on-orbit background.
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Frederick S. Porter, Frederick S. Porter, Kevin R. Boyce, Kevin R. Boyce, Meng P. Chiao, Meng P. Chiao, Megan E. Eckart, Megan E. Eckart, Ryuichi Fujimoto, Ryuichi Fujimoto, Yoshitaka Ishisaki, Yoshitaka Ishisaki, Richard L. Kelley, Richard L. Kelley, Caroline A. Kilbourne, Caroline A. Kilbourne, Maurice A. Leutenegger, Maurice A. Leutenegger, Dan McCammon, Dan McCammon, Kazuhisa Mitsuda, Kazuhisa Mitsuda, Kosuke Sato, Kosuke Sato, Hiromi Seta, Hiromi Seta, Makoto Sawada, Makoto Sawada, Gary A. Sneiderman, Gary A. Sneiderman, Andrew E. Szymkowiak, Andrew E. Szymkowiak, Yoh Takei, Yoh Takei, Makoto S. Tashiro, Makoto S. Tashiro, Masahiro Tsujimoto, Masahiro Tsujimoto, Tomomi Watanabe, Tomomi Watanabe, Shinya Yamada, Shinya Yamada, } "In-flight performance of the Soft X-ray Spectrometer detector system on Astro-H", Proc. SPIE 9905, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 99050W (19 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232799; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2232799

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