19 September 2016 Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes monitor demonstrator on CubeSat
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Abstract
The CubeSat mission with the demonstrator of miniaturized X-ray telescope is presented. The paper presents one of the mission objectives of using the instrument for remote sensing of the Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs). TGFs are intense sources of gamma-rays associated with lightning bolt activity and tropical thunderstorms. The measurement of TGFs exists and was measured by sounding rockets, high altitude balloons or several satellite missions. Past satellite missions were equipped with different detectors working from 10 keV up to 10 MeV. The RHESSI mission spectrum measurement of TGFs shows the maximum counts per second around 75 keV. The used detectors were in general big in volume and cannot be utilized by the CubeSat mission. The presented CubeSat is equipped with miniaturized X-ray telescope using the Timepix non-cooled pixel detector. The detector works between 3 and 60 keV in counting mode (dosimetry) or in spectrum mode with resolution 5 keV. The wide-field X-ray "Lobster-eye" optics/collimator (depending on energy) is used with a view angle of 3 degrees for the source location definition. The UV detectors with FOV 30 degrees and 1.5 degrees are added parallel with the optic as a part of the telescope. The telescope is equipped with software distinguishing between the photons and other particles. Using this software the TGF's detection is possible also in the field of South Atlantic anomaly. For the total ionization dose, the additional detector is used based on Silicone (12-60 keV) and CdTe (20 keV - 1 MeV). The presented instruments are the demonstrators suitable also for the astrophysical, sun and moon observation. The paper shows the details of TGF's observation modes, detectors details, data processing and handling system and mission. The CubeSat launch is planned to summer 2016.
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V. Dániel, L. Pína, A. Inneman, V. Zadražil, T. Báča, M. Platkevič, V. Stehlíková, O. Nentvich, M. Urban, "Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes monitor demonstrator on CubeSat", Proc. SPIE 9978, CubeSats and NanoSats for Remote Sensing, 99780D (19 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2240299; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2240299
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