X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) is the seventh Japanese X-ray astronomical satellite scheduled to be launched in the Japanese fiscal year 2022. XRISM has two mission instruments, “Resolve”, a soft X-ray spectrometer, and “Xtend”, a soft X-ray imager. The Former is an X-ray micro-calorimeter that has ∼ 5 eV of energy resolution with 3′ × 3 ′ of field of view. The Latter is an X-ray CCD camera with 38′ × 38′ of field of view. Both instruments are placed on the focal plane of X-ray telescopes, X-ray Mirror Assembly (XMA). Xtend CCDs are designed almost the same as those of Hitomi (ASTRO-H), whereas some improvements have been applied. In 2019, flight-model (FM) candidates of Xtend CCDs were fabricated by Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. We performed screening experiments to examine whether they met requirements or not, and then selected the best four chips as the FM. We then performed on-ground calibration on August 2019 and September 2019 for the FM chips to determine the gain correction parameters and to construct the detector response with several energies of monochromatic X-ray. In this paper, we report screening, selection, and on-ground calibration processes, especially focusing on the response verification.
The X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) is the successor to the 2016 Hitomi mission that ended prematurely. Like Hitomi, the primary science goals are to examine astrophysical problems with precise highresolution X-ray spectroscopy. XRISM promises to discover new horizons in X-ray astronomy. XRISM carries a 6 x 6 pixelized X-ray micro-calorimeter on the focal plane of an X-ray mirror assembly and a co-aligned X-ray CCD camera that covers the same energy band over a large field of view. XRISM utilizes Hitomi heritage, but all designs were reviewed. The attitude and orbit control system were improved in hardware and software. The number of star sensors were increased from two to three to improve coverage and robustness in onboard attitude determination and to obtain a wider field of view sun sensor. The fault detection, isolation, and reconfiguration (FDIR) system was carefully examined and reconfigured. Together with a planned increase of ground support stations, the survivability of the spacecraft is significantly improved.
We report current status of developing Soft X-ray Imager (SXI), the X-ray CCD camera onboard X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM). Four flight model (FM) CCDs have been selected considering several items including energy resolution at 5.9keV, CTI, dark current, etc. We have also completed calibration campaign for all the FM CCDs. Initial analyses show that the response function for monochromatic X-rays is basically the same as that of Hitomi CCDs. The focal plane including the single-stage Stirling cooler has been assembled. Production of key parts in SXI sensor body such as contamination blocking filter and onboard calibration source has been finished and they are waiting for assemble. The digitized signals of the CCD are corrected step by step before conversion to X-ray energy. We are preparing calibration database for the correction such as CTI, gain, and line redistribution function.
X-ray Astronomy Recovery Mission (XARM) scheduled to be launched in early 2020’s carries two soft X-ray telescopes. One is Resolve consisting of a soft X-ray mirror and a micro calorimeter array, and the other is Soft X-ray Imaging Telescope (Xtend), a combination of an X-ray mirror assembly (XMA) and an X-ray CCD camera (SXI). Xtend covers a field of view (FOV) of 38′ × 38′ , much larger than that of Resolve (3′ × 3 ′ ) with moderate energy resolution in the energy band from 0.4 keV to 13 keV, which is similar to that of Resolve (from 0.3 keV to 12 keV). Simultaneous observations of both telescopes provide complimentary data of X-ray sources in their FOV. In particular, monitoring X-ray sources outside the Resolve FOV but inside the Xtend FOV is important to enhance the reliability of super high resolution spectra obtained with Resolve. Xtend is also expected to be one of the best instruments for low surface brightness X-ray emissions with its low non X-ray background level, which is comparable to that of Suzaku XIS. The design of Xtend is almost identical to those of Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) and Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) both on board the Hitomi satellite. However, several mandatory updates are included. Updates for the CCD chips are verified with experiment using test CCD chips before finalizing the design of the flight model CCD. Fabrication of the foils for XMA has started, and flight model production of the SXI is almost ready.
The ASTRO-H mission was designed and developed through an international collaboration of JAXA, NASA, ESA, and the CSA. It was successfully launched on February 17, 2016, and then named Hitomi. During the in-orbit verification phase, the on-board observational instruments functioned as expected. The intricate coolant and refrigeration systems for soft X-ray spectrometer (SXS, a quantum micro-calorimeter) and soft X-ray imager (SXI, an X-ray CCD) also functioned as expected. However, on March 26, 2016, operations were prematurely terminated by a series of abnormal events and mishaps triggered by the attitude control system. These errors led to a fatal event: the loss of the solar panels on the Hitomi mission. The X-ray Astronomy Recovery Mission (or, XARM) is proposed to regain the key scientific advances anticipated by the international collaboration behind Hitomi. XARM will recover this science in the shortest time possible by focusing on one of the main science goals of Hitomi,“Resolving astrophysical problems by precise high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy”.1 This decision was reached after evaluating the performance of the instruments aboard Hitomi and the mission’s initial scientific results, and considering the landscape of planned international X-ray astrophysics missions in 2020’s and 2030’s. Hitomi opened the door to high-resolution spectroscopy in the X-ray universe. It revealed a number of discrepancies between new observational results and prior theoretical predictions. Yet, the resolution pioneered by Hitomi is also the key to answering these and other fundamental questions. The high spectral resolution realized by XARM will not offer mere refinements; rather, it will enable qualitative leaps in astrophysics and plasma physics. XARM has therefore been given a broad scientific charge: “Revealing material circulation and energy transfer in cosmic plasmas and elucidating evolution of cosmic structures and objects”. To fulfill this charge, four categories of science objectives that were defined for Hitomi will also be pursued by XARM; these include (1) Structure formation of the Universe and evolution of clusters of galaxies; (2) Circulation history of baryonic matters in the Universe; (3) Transport and circulation of energy in the Universe; (4) New science with unprecedented high resolution X-ray spectroscopy. In order to achieve these scientific objectives, XARM will carry a 6 × 6 pixelized X-ray micro-calorimeter on the focal plane of an X-ray mirror assembly, and an aligned X-ray CCD camera covering the same energy band and a wider field of view. This paper introduces the science objectives, mission concept, and observing plan of XARM.
The Hitomi (ASTRO-H) mission is the sixth Japanese x-ray astronomy satellite developed by a large international collaboration, including Japan, USA, Canada, and Europe. The mission aimed to provide the highest energy resolution ever achieved at E > 2 keV, using a microcalorimeter instrument, and to cover a wide energy range spanning four decades in energy from soft x-rays to gamma rays. After a successful launch on February 17, 2016, the spacecraft lost its function on March 26, 2016, but the commissioning phase for about a month provided valuable information on the onboard instruments and the spacecraft system, including astrophysical results obtained from first light observations. The paper describes the Hitomi (ASTRO-H) mission, its capabilities, the initial operation, and the instruments/spacecraft performances confirmed during the commissioning operations for about a month.
The Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) is an imaging spectrometer using charge-coupled devices (CCDs) aboard the Hitomi x-ray observatory. The SXI sensor has four CCDs with an imaging area size of 31 mm×31 mm arranged in a 2×2 array. Combined with the x-ray mirror, the Soft X-ray Telescope, the SXI detects x-rays between 0.4 and 12 keV and covers a 38′×38′ field of view. The CCDs are P-channel fully depleted, back-illumination type with a depletion layer thickness of 200 μm. Low operation temperature down to −120°C as well as charge injection is employed to reduce the charge transfer inefficiency (CTI) of the CCDs. The functionality and performance of the SXI are verified in on-ground tests. The energy resolution measured is 161 to 170 eV in full width at half maximum for 5.9-keV x-rays. In the tests, we found that the CTI of some regions is significantly higher. A method is developed to properly treat the position-dependent CTI. Another problem we found is pinholes in the Al coating on the incident surface of the CCDs for optical light blocking. The Al thickness of the contamination blocking filter is increased to sufficiently block optical light.
The Hitomi (ASTRO-H) mission is the sixth Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite developed by a large international collaboration, including Japan, USA, Canada, and Europe. The mission aimed to provide the highest energy resolution ever achieved at E > 2 keV, using a microcalorimeter instrument, and to cover a wide energy range spanning four decades in energy from soft X-rays to gamma-rays. After a successful launch on 2016 February 17, the spacecraft lost its function on 2016 March 26, but the commissioning phase for about a month provided valuable information on the on-board instruments and the spacecraft system, including astrophysical results obtained from first light observations. The paper describes the Hitomi (ASTRO-H) mission, its capabilities, the initial operation, and the instruments/spacecraft performances confirmed during the commissioning operations for about a month.
We report here the performance of the SXI on ASTRO-H that was started its operation from March,02 2016. The SXI consists of 4 CCDs that cover 38' X 38' sky region. They are P-channel back-illumination type CCD with a depletion layer of 200 μm. Charge injection (CI) method is applied from its beginning of the mission. Two single stage sterling coolers are equipped with the SXI while one of them has enough power to cool the CCD to -110°C. There are two issues in the SXI performance: one is a light-leak and the other is a cosmic-ray echo. The light-leak is due to the fact that the day-Earth irradiates visible lights onto the SXI body through holes in the satellite base plate. It can be avoided by selecting targets not on the anti-day-Earth direction. The cosmic-ray echo is due to the improper parameter values that is fixed by revising them with which the cosmic-ray echo does not affect the image. Using the results of RXJ1856.5-3754, we confirm that the possible contaminants on the CCD is well within our expectation.
Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) is a CCD camera onboard the ASTRO-H satellite which is scheduled to be launched in 2015. The SXI camera contains four CCD chips, each with an imaging area of 31mm x 31 mm, arrayed in mosaic, covering the whole FOV area of 38′ x 38′. The CCDs are a P-channel back-illuminated (BI) type with a depletion layer thickness of 200 _m. High QE of 77% at 10 keV expected for this device is an advantage to cover an overlapping energy band with the Hard X-ray Imager (HXI) onboard ASTRO-H. Most of the flight components of the SXI system are completed until the end of 2013 and assembled, and an end-to-end test is performed. Basic performance is verified to meet the requirements. Similar performance is confirmed in the first integration test of the satellite performed in March to June 2014, in which the energy resolution at 5.9 keV of 160 eV is obtained. In parallel to these activities, calibrations using engineering model CCDs are performed, including QE, transmission of a filter, linearity, and response profiles.