MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image) is a payload on board the International Space Station,
and will be launched on April 2009.
We report on the current development status on MAXI, in particular on the two types of X-ray camera (GSC and SSC),
and the simulation results of the MAXI observation.
SSC is a CCD camera.
The moderate energy resolution enables us to detect the various emission peak including 0.5 keV oxygen line.
The averaged energy resolution at the CCD temperature of -70 deg is 144.5 eV (FWHM) for 5.9 keV X-ray.
GSC includes proportional gas counters, which have large X-ray detection area (5350cm2).
The averaged position resolution of 1.1mm at 8 keV enable us to determined the celestial position of bright sources
within the accuracy of 0.1 degree.
The simulation study involving the results of performance test exhibits the high sensitivity of MAXI as designed.
Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) is an X-ray all-sky monitor,
which will be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS)
by a space shuttle crew in early 2009,
to scan almost the entire sky once every 96 minutes for
a mission life of two to five years. The detection sensitivity will be
5 mCrab (5σlevel) for a one-day MAXI operation, 2 mCrab for one week,
and 1 mCrab for one month, reaching a source confusion limit of 0.2 mCrab in two years.
In this paper, brief descriptions are presented for the MAXI mission and payload, and
three operation phases, 1) the launch-to-docking phase, 2) the initial in-orbit calibration phase,
and 3) the routine operation phase. We also describes the MAXI data product and its release plan for public users.
MAXI is the first payload to be attached on JEM-EF (Kibo exposed facility) of ISS. It provides an all sky X-ray image
every ISS orbit. If MAXI scans the sky during one week, it could make a milli-Crab X-ray all sky map excluding bright
region around the sun. Thus, MAXI does not only inform X-ray novae and transients rapidly to world astronomers if
once they occur, but also observes long-term variability of Galactic and extra-Galactic X-ray sources. MAXI also
provides an X-ray source catalogue at that time with diffuse cosmic X-ray background.
MAXI consists of two kinds of detectors, position sensitive gas-proportional counters for 2-30 keV X-rays and CCD
cameras for 0.5-10 keV X-rays. All instruments of MAXI are now in final phase of pre-launching tests of their flight
modules. We are also carrying out performance tests for X-ray detectors and collimators. Data processing and analysis
software including alert system on ground are being developed by mission team.
In this paper we report an overview of final instruments of MAXI and capability of MAXI.
Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) is an X-ray all-sky scanner, which will be attached on Exposed Facility of Japanese Experiment Module dubbed "Kibo" of International Space Station (ISS). MAXI will be launched by the Space Shuttle or the Japanese H-IIA Transfer Vehicle (HTV) in 2008. MAXI carries two types of X-ray cameras: Solid-state Slit Camera (SSC) for 0.5-10 keV and Gas Slit Camera (GSC) for 2-30 keV bands. Both have long narrow fields of view (FOV) made by a slit and orthogonally arranged collimator plates (slats). The FOV will sweep almost the whole sky once every 96 minutes by utilizing the orbital motion of ISS. Then the light curve of an X-ray point source become triangular shape in one transit. In this paper, we present the actual triangular response of the GSC collimator, obtained by our calibration. In fact they are deformed by gaps between the slats, leaning angle of the slats, and the effective width of the slats. We are measuring these sizes by shooting X-ray beams into the detector behind the collimator. We summarize the calibration and present the first compilation of the data to make the GSC collimator response, which will be useful for public users.
Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image(MAXI) is an X-ray all sky monitor, which will be attached to the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) on the International Space Station (ISS) around the year 2008. MAXI carries two types of scientific instruments. The Gas Slit Camera(GSC) consists of twelve Xe filled one-dimensional position sensitive gas proportional counters sensitive to X-ray in 2-30 keV band. The Solid-state Slit Camera (SSC) is a set of X-ray CCD arrays sensitive to 0.5-10 keV photons. Both detectors are utilized in combination with a slit
and orthogonally arranged collimator plates to produce one-dimensional X-ray images along sky great circles. The instruments are now under fabrication and preflight testing. A detector response matrix (DRM) of GSC is also under development phase based on flight model calibration tests for counters and collimators. MAXI's
overall performance depends on not only hardware characteristics but on the fact that the field-of-view changes in time even during observations. To study this complicated situation, we are developing a software, DRM builder, and also a simulation software to evaluate "realistic" performance of GSC in ISS orbits.
Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) is an X-ray all-sky monitor,
which will be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2008, to scan almost the whole sky once every 96 minutes for a mission life of two years. The detection sensitivity will be 7~mCrab (5σ level) in one scan, and 1~mCrab for one-week accumulation. At previous SPIE meetings, we presented the development status
of the MAXI payload, in particular its X-ray detectors. In this paper, we present the whole picture of the MAXI system, including the downlink path and the MAXI ground system. We also examine the MAXI system components other than X-ray detectors from the point of view of the overall performance of the mission. The engineering model test of the MAXI X-ray slit collimator shows that we can achieve the position determination accuracy of <0.1 degrees, required for the ease of follow-up observations. Assessing the downlink paths, we currently estimates that the MAXI ground system receive more than 50% of the observational data in "real time" (with time delay of a few to ten seconds), and the rest of data with delay of 20 minutes to a few hours from detection, depending on the timing of downlink. The data will be processed in easily-utilised formats, and made open to public users through the Internet.
MAXI is an X-ray all-sky monitor which will be mounted on the Japanese Experimental Module (JEM) of the International Space Station (ISS) in 2008. The Gas Slit Camera (GSC) consists of 12 one-dimensional position sensitive proportional counters and the sensitivity will be as high as 1 mCrab for a one-week accumulation in the 2-30 keV band. In order to calibrate the detectors and electronic systems thoroughly before the launch, a fast and
versatile Ground Support Electronic (GSE) system is necessary. We have developed a new GSE based on VME I/O boards for a Linux workstation. These boards carry reconfigurable FPGAs of 100,000 gates, together with 16 Mbytes of SDRAM. As a demonstration application of using this GSE, we have tested the positional response of a GSC engineering counter. We present a schematic view of the GSE highlighting the functional design, together with a future vision of the ground testing of the GSC flight counters and digital associated processor.
The current status is reported of the development of Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image and the measurement of its observational response. MAXI is a scanning X-ray camera to be attached to the Japanese Experiment Module of the International Space Station in 2008. MAXI is mainly composed of two kinds of instruments, GSC which is sensitive to the 2 - 30 keV photons, and SSC to the 0.5 - 10 keV ones. As an X-ray all-sky monitor, MAXI has an unprecedented sensitivity of 7 mCrab in one orbit scan, and 1 mCrab in one week. Using the engineering mode of the proportional counter and of the collimator for GSC, the observational response of GSC is extensively measured. The acceptable performances are obtained as a whole for both the collimator and the counter. The engineering models of the other part of MAXI are also constructed and the measurement of their performance is ongoing.