Detection of polarization and spectra measurement of X-ray solar flare emission are indispensable in improving our understanding of the processes releasing energy of these most energetic phenomena in the solar system. We shall present some details of the construction of SolpeX – an innovative Bragg soft X-ray flare polarimeter and spectrometer. The instrument is a part of KORTES – Russian instrument complex to be mounted aboard the science module to be attached to the International Space Station (2017/2018). <p> </p>The SolpeX will be composed of three individual measuring units: the soft X-ray polarimeter with 1-2% linear polarization detection threshold, a fast-rotating flat crystal X-ray spectrometer with a very high time resolution (0.1 s) and a simple pinhole soft X-ray imager-spectrometer with a moderate spatial (~20 arcsec), spectral (0.5 keV) and high time resolution (0.1 s). Having a fast rotating unit to be served with power, telemetry and “intelligence” poses a challenge for the designer. Some of the solutions to this will be provided and described.
Solar Orbiter mission of European Space Agency, scheduled for launch in 2017, is designed to explore the Sun and the
inner heliosphere. Its close, never achieved before by any other spacecraft, approach to the Sun as well as ten remote-sensing
and in-situ on board instruments will allow obtaining unique solar science data. The Spectrometer Telescope for
Imaging X-rays (STIX) is one of them. Its measurements of solar thermal and non-thermal hard X-ray emissions from
~4 to 150 keV will play an important role to achieve mission's major science goals. The Spacecraft Instrument Interface
Simulator (SIIS) is specified as a part of Electrical Ground Support Equipment with the aim to provide a tool for power
interface and telemetry/telecommand electrical and data protocol validation during the delivery phase of STIX
instrument for spacecraft integration. It is designed to be used during the instrument development and test phases of onboard
algorithms, too. Brief overview of SIIS use and performance for these purposes is given in this work.
We present an innovative soft X-ray polarimeter and spectrometer SOLPEX, the instrument to be mounted aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015/2016. The SOLPEX will be composed of three individual measuring units: the soft X-ray polarimeter with 1-2% linear polarization detection limit, a fast-rotating drum X-ray spectrometer with very high time resolution (0.1s) and a simple pin-hole soft X-ray imager-spectrometer with moderate spatial (~20arcsec), spectral (0.5 keV) and high time resolution (0.1s). This set of instruments will provide unique opportunity to complement the efforts to reliably measure the X-ray polarization and contribute towards understanding the physics of solar flares. The standard flare model states that electrons are being accelerated in specific regions of the corona at or near magnetic reconnection site and then propagate along reconnected magnetic field lines toward the atmospheric denser layers. There, they are decelerated and lose their energy mainly through the bremsstrahlung process. Deposited energy is readily converted to directed evaporation of the plasma to be detected through the Doppler-shifted emission lines in extreme ultraviolet and soft X-ray spectral ranges Due to highly anisotropic character of impulsive phase electron beams, resulting emission is expected to be polarized. Both these processes: bremsstrahlung emission of supposedly polarized X-ray flux and accompanying plasma evaporation velocities are to be simultaneously observed by the proposed SOLPEX instruments.
The Spectrometer Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) is one of 10 instruments on-board Solar Orbiter mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) scheduled to be launched in 2017. STIX is aimed to provide imaging spectroscopy of solar thermal and non-thermal hard X-ray emissions from 4 keV to 150 keV using a Fourier-imaging technique. The instrument employs a set of tungsten grids in front of 32 pixelized CdTe detectors. These detectors are source of data collected and analyzed in real time by Instrument Data Processing Unit (IDPU). In order to support development and implementation of on-board algorithms a dedicated detector hardware simulator is designed and manufactured as a part of Electrical Ground Support Equipment (EGSE) for STIX instrument. Complementary to the hardware simulator is data analysis software which is used to generate input data and to analyze output data. The simulator will allow sending strictly defined data from all detectors’ pixels at the input of the IDPU for further analysis of instrument response. Particular emphasis is given here to the simulator hardware design.
This paper presents assumptions to a PhD thesis. The thesis will be based on the construction of Solar Photometer in
X-rays (SphinX). SphinX was an instrument developed to detect the soft X-rays from the Sun. It was flown on board
the Russian CORONAS-Photon satellite from January 30, 2009 to the end of November, 2009. During 9 months in
orbit SphinX provided an excellent and unique set of observations. It revealed about 750 flares and brightenings. The
instrument observed in energy range 1.0 - 15.0 keV with resolution below ~0.5 keV. Here, the SphinX instrument
objectives, design, performance and operation principle are described.
Below results of mechanical and thermal – vacuum tests necessary to qualify the instrument to use in space environment
are presented. Also the calibration results of the instrument are discussed. In particular detail it is described the Electrical
Ground Support Equipment (EGSE) for SphinX. The EGSE was used for all tests of the instrument. At the end of the
paper results obtained from the instrument during operation in orbit are discussed. These results are compared with
the other similar measurements performed from the separate spacecraft instruments. It is suggested design changes in
future versions of SphinX.
The Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) is one of 10 instruments on board Solar Orbiter, an M-class
mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) scheduled to be launch in 2017. STIX applies a Fourier-imaging
technique using a set of tungsten grids in front of 32 pixelized CdTe detectors to provide imaging spectroscopy of solar
thermal and non-thermal hard X-ray emissions from 4 to 150 keV. These detectors are source of data collected and
analyzed in real-time by Instrument Data Processing Unit (IDPU). Besides the data processing the IDPU controls and
manages other STIX’s subsystems: ASICs and ADCs associated with detectors, Aspect System, Attenuator, PSU and
HK. The instrument reviewed in this paper is based on the design that passed the Instrument Preliminary Design Review
(IPDR) in early 2012 and Software Preliminary Design Review (SW PDR) in middle of 2012. Particular emphasis is
given to the IDPU and low level software called Basic SW (BSW).
The Spectrometer Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) is one of 10 instruments on board Solar Orbiter, a confirmed Mclass mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) within the Cosmic Vision program scheduled to be launched in 2017. STIX applies a Fourier-imaging technique using a set of tungsten grids (at pitches from 0.038 to 1 mm) in front of 32 pixelized CdTe detectors to provide imaging spectroscopy of solar thermal and non-thermal hard X-ray emissions from 4 to 150 keV. The status of the instrument reviewed in this paper is based on the design that passed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) in early 2012. Particular emphasis is given to the first light of the detector system called Caliste-SO.
Three of the four detectors of the SphinX experiment to be flown on the Russian mission Coronas-Photon have been
measured at the XACT Facility of the Palermo Observatory at several wavelengths in the soft X-ray band. We describe
the instrumental set-up and report some measurements. The analysis work to obtain the final calibration is still in