The Marshall Grazing Incidence X-ray Spectrometer (MaGIXS) is a NASA sounding rocket instrument designed to obtain spatially resolved soft X-ray spectra of the solar atmosphere in the 6–24 Å (0.5–2.0 keV) range. The instrument consists of a single shell Wolter Type-I telescope, a slit, and a spectrometer comprising a matched pair of grazing incidence parabolic mirrors and a planar varied-line space diffraction grating. The instrument is designed to achieve a 50 mÅ spectral resolution and 5 arcsecond spatial resolution along a ±4-arcminute long slit, and launch is planned for 2019. We report on the status and our approaches for fabrication and alignment for this novel optical system. The telescope and spectrometer mirrors are replicated nickel shells, and are currently being fabricated at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. The diffraction grating is currently under development by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); because of the strong line spacing variation across the grating, it will be fabricated through e-beam lithography.
The Marshall Grazing Incidence X-ray Spectrometer (MaGIXS) is a NASA sounding rocket instrument that is designed to observe soft X-ray emissions from 24 - 6.0 Å (0.5 - 2.0 keV energies) in the solar atmosphere. For the first time, high-temperature, low-emission plasma will be observed directly with 5 arcsecond spatial resolution and 22 mÅ spectral resolution. The unique optical design consists of a Wolter - I telescope and a 3-optic grazing- incidence spectrometer. The spectrometer utilizes a finite conjugate mirror pair and a blazed planar, varied line spaced grating, which is directly printed on a silicon substrate using e-beam lithography. The grating design is being finalized and the grating will be fabricated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Izentis LLC. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is producing the nickel replicated telescope and spectrometer mirrors using the same facilities and techniques as those developed for the ART-XC and FOXSI mirrors. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) will mount and align the optical sub-assemblies based on previous experience with similar instruments, such as the Hinode X-Ray Telescope (XRT). The telescope and spectrometer assembly will be aligned in visible light through the implementation of a theodolite and reference mirrors, in addition to the centroid detector assembly (CDA) - a device designed to align the AXAF-I nested mirrors. Focusing of the telescope and spectrometer will be achieved using the X-ray source in the Stray Light Facility (SLF) at MSFC. We present results from an alignment sensitivity analysis performed on the on the system and we also discuss the method for aligning and focusing MaGIXS.
The NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has developed a science camera suitable for sub-orbital missions for observations in the UV, EUV and soft X-ray. Six cameras were built and tested for the Chromospheric Lyman-Alpha Spectro-Polarimeter (CLASP), a joint MSFC, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) and Institut D'Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS) sounding rocket mission. The CLASP camera design includes a frame-transfer e2v CCD57-10 512 × 512 detector, dual channel analog readout and an internally mounted cold block. At the flight CCD temperature of -20C, the CLASP cameras exceeded the low-noise performance requirements (≤ 25 e− read noise and ≤ 10 e− /sec/pixel dark current), in addition to maintaining a stable gain of ≈ 2.0 e−/DN. The e2v CCD57-10 detectors were coated with Lumogen-E to improve quantum efficiency (QE) at the Lyman- wavelength. A vacuum ultra-violet (VUV) monochromator and a NIST calibrated photodiode were employed to measure the QE of each camera. Three flight cameras and one engineering camera were tested in a high-vacuum chamber, which was configured to operate several tests intended to verify the QE, gain, read noise and dark current of the CCD. We present and discuss the QE measurements performed on the CLASP cameras. We also discuss the high-vacuum system outfitted for testing of UV, EUV and X-ray science cameras at MSFC.
The NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has developed a science camera suitable for sub-orbital missions for observations in the UV, EUV and soft X-ray. Six cameras will be built and tested for flight with the Chromospheric Lyman-Alpha Spectro-Polarimeter (CLASP), a joint National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and MSFC sounding rocket mission. The goal of the CLASP mission is to observe the scattering polarization in Lyman-α and to detect the Hanle effect in the line core. Due to the nature of Lyman-α polarizationin the chromosphere, strict measurement sensitivity requirements are imposed on the CLASP polarimeter and spectrograph systems; science requirements for polarization measurements of Q/I and U/I are 0.1% in the line core. CLASP is a dual-beam spectro-polarimeter, which uses a continuously rotating waveplate as a polarization modulator, while the waveplate motor driver outputs trigger pulses to synchronize the exposures. The CCDs are operated in frame-transfer mode; the trigger pulse initiates the frame transfer, effectively ending the ongoing exposure and starting the next. The strict requirement of 0.1% polarization accuracy is met by using frame-transfer cameras to maximize the duty cycle in order to minimize photon noise. The CLASP cameras were designed to operate with ≤ 10 e-/pixel/second dark current, ≤ 25 e- read noise, a gain of 2.0 +- 0.5 and ≤ 1.0% residual non-linearity. We present the results of the performance characterization study performed on the CLASP prototype camera; dark current, read noise, camera gain and residual non-linearity.