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Proceedings Paper

Detector and imaging systems for the gamma-ray imager/polarimeter for solar flares (GRIPS) instrument
Author(s): Nicole Duncan; Albert Shih; Gordon Hurford; Pascal Saint-Hilaire; Andreas Zoglauer; Hazel Bain; Mark Amman; Steven Boggs; Robert Lin
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Paper Abstract

Hard X-ray and gamma-ray emission during solar flares encode information about electron/ion dynamics and provide a proxy to deduce solar atmospheric parameters. Enhanced imaging, spectroscopy and polarimetry of HXR/gamma-ray are emissions over ~20 keV to greater than or approx. equal to 10MeV is needed to study particle transport; the Gamma-Ray Imager/Polarimeter for Solar Flares (GRIPS) instrument is designed to meet these goals. GRIPS' key technological improvements over the current solar state of the art in HXR/gamma-ray energies (RHESSI) include 3D position-sensitive germanium detectors (3D-GeDs) and a single-grid modulation collimator, the Multi-Pitch Rotating Modulator (MPRM). The 3D-GeDs allow GRIPS to reconstruct Compton-scatter tracks of energy deposition, providing enhanced background reduction and polarization measurements. Each of GRIPS' sixteen detectors has 298 electrode strips, each of which has dedicated ASIC/FPGA electronics. In GRIPS' energy range, indirect Fourier imaging provides higher resolution than focusing optics or Compton imaging techniques. The MPRM grid-imaging system has a single-grid design which provides 2x the throughput of a bigrid imaging system like RHESSI. Quasi-continuous resolution from 12.5 - 162 arcsecs is achieved by varying the grid pitch between 1 - 13mm. This spatial resolution will be capable of imaging the separate footpoints in a variety of flare sizes. In comparison, RHESSI's minimum 35 arcsec resolution at the same energy makes footpoints resolvable in only the largest flares. We discuss GRIPS' science goals, the instrument overall, and recent developments in GRIPS' detector and imaging systems. GRIPS is scheduled for an engineering flight from Fort Sumner in September 2014, followed by two long-duration balloon flights from Antarctica in 2015/16.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 September 2013
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8862, Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation V, 88620W (26 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2024667
Show Author Affiliations
Nicole Duncan, Space Sciences Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Albert Shih, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Gordon Hurford, Space Sciences Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Pascal Saint-Hilaire, Space Sciences Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Andreas Zoglauer, Space Sciences Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Hazel Bain, Space Sciences Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Mark Amman, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (United States)
Steven Boggs, Space Sciences Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Robert Lin, Space Sciences Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8862:
Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation V
Silvano Fineschi; Judy Fennelly, Editor(s)

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