The Einstein Probe (EP) is a small satellite dedicated to time-domain astronomy to monitor the sky in the soft X-ray band. It is a mission led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and developed in its space science programme with international collaboration. Its wide-field imaging capability is achieved by using established technology of the micro-pore lobster-eye X-ray focusing optics. Complementary to this is deep X-ray follow-up capability enabled by a Wolter-I type X-ray telescope. EP is also capable of fast transient alerts triggering and downlink, aiming at multi-wavelength follow-up observations by the world-wide community. EP will enable systematic survey and characterisation of high-energy transients at unprecedented sensitivity, spatial resolution, grasp and monitoring cadence. Its scientific goals are mainly concerned with discovering new or rare types of transients, including tidal disruption events, supernova shock breakouts, high-redshift GRBs, and of particular interest, electromagnetic sources of gravitational wave events.
The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT or also dubbed as Insight-HXMT) is China’s first astronomical satellite. It was launched on 15th June 2017 in JiuQuan, China and is currently in service smoothly. It was designed to perform pointing, scanning and gamma-ray burst (GRB) observations and, based on the Direct Demodulation Method (DDM), the image of the scanned sky region can be reconstructed. Here we introduce the mission and its progresses in aspects of payload, core sciences, ground calibration/facility, ground segment, data archive, software, in-orbit performance, calibration, background model, observations and preliminary results.
The Medium Energy X-ray Telescope (ME), covering 5-30 keV, is one of the three main payloads of the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT). ME adopts an array of Si-PIN detectors. The detection area of one pixel is 56.25 mm<sup>2</sup> , and the total detection area is 952 cm<sup>2</sup> . The ME has a large active area while the pixel size is smaller. So the front-end electronics and forming electronics are realized by Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips. In this paper, we will describe the matching design of ME Si-PIN detector and ASIC, and the performance of the design. The energy response, temperature response, and dead time of a Two-Pixels Si-PIN detectors with the simplest readout electronics which is similar with ME, were tested on the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics PANTER X-ray test facility at Neuried by Munchen (Germany). The overall performance is quite similar to what was expected.