5 August 2016 The HEXITEC hard x-ray pixelated CdTe imager for fast solar observations
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Abstract
There is an increasing demand in solar and astrophysics for high resolution X-ray spectroscopic imaging. Such observations would present ground breaking opportunities to study the poorly understood high energy processes in our solar system and beyond, such as solar flares, X-ray binaries, and active galactic nuclei. However, such observations require a new breed of solid state detectors sensitive to high energy X-rays with fine independent pixels to sub-sample the point spread function (PSF) of the X-ray optics. For solar observations in particular, they must also be capable of handling very high count rates as photon fluxes from solar flares often cause pile up and saturation in present generation detectors. The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) has recently developed a new cadmium telluride (CdTe) detector system, called HEXITEC (High Energy X-ray Imaging Technology). It is an 8080 array of 250 μm independent pixels sensitive in the 2−200 keV band and capable of a high full frame read out rate of 10 kHz. HEXITEC provides the smallest independently read out CdTe pixels currently available, and are well matched to the few arcsecond PSF produced by current and next generation hard X-ray focusing optics. NASA's Goddard and Marshall Space Flight Centers are collaborating with RAL to develop these detectors for use on future space borne hard X-ray focusing telescopes. We show the latest results on HEXITEC's imaging capability, energy resolution, high read out rate, and reveal it to be ideal for such future instruments.
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Wayne H. Baumgartner, Wayne H. Baumgartner, Steven D. Christe, Steven D. Christe, Daniel F. Ryan, Daniel F. Ryan, Andrew R. Inglis, Andrew R. Inglis, Albert Y. Shih, Albert Y. Shih, Kyle Gregory, Kyle Gregory, Matt Wilson, Matt Wilson, Paul Seller, Paul Seller, Jessica Gaskin, Jessica Gaskin, Colleen Wilson-Hodge, Colleen Wilson-Hodge, "The HEXITEC hard x-ray pixelated CdTe imager for fast solar observations", Proc. SPIE 9915, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy VII, 99151D (5 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2234655; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2234655
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