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Proceedings Paper

The neutron star interior composition explorer (NICER): mission definition
Author(s): Z. Arzoumanian; K. C. Gendreau; C. L. Baker; T. Cazeau; P. Hestnes; J. W. Kellogg; S. J. Kenyon; R. P. Kozon; K.-C. Liu; S. S. Manthripragada; C. B. Markwardt; A. L. Mitchell; J. W. Mitchell; C. A. Monroe; T. Okajima; S. E. Pollard; D. F. Powers; B. J. Savadkin; L. B. Winternitz; P. T. Chen; M. R. Wright; R. Foster; G. Prigozhin; R. Remillard; J. Doty
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Paper Abstract

Over a 10-month period during 2013 and early 2014, development of the Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) mission [1] proceeded through Phase B, Mission Definition. An external attached payload on the International Space Station (ISS), NICER is scheduled to launch in 2016 for an 18-month baseline mission. Its prime scientific focus is an in-depth investigation of neutron stars—objects that compress up to two Solar masses into a volume the size of a city—accomplished through observations in 0.2–12 keV X-rays, the electromagnetic band into which the stars radiate significant fractions of their thermal, magnetic, and rotational energy stores. Additionally, NICER enables the Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) demonstration of spacecraft navigation using pulsars as beacons. During Phase B, substantive refinements were made to the mission-level requirements, concept of operations, and payload and instrument design. Fabrication and testing of engineering-model components improved the fidelity of the anticipated scientific performance of NICER’s X-ray Timing Instrument (XTI), as well as of the payload’s pointing system, which enables tracking of science targets from the ISS platform. We briefly summarize advances in the mission’s formulation that, together with strong programmatic performance in project management, culminated in NICER’s confirmation by NASA into Phase C, Design and Development, in March 2014.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2014
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9144, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 914420 (29 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056811
Show Author Affiliations
Z. Arzoumanian, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
The Ctr. for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology (United States)
Universities Space Research Association (United States)
K. C. Gendreau, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
C. L. Baker, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
T. Cazeau, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
P. Hestnes, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
J. W. Kellogg, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
S. J. Kenyon, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
R. P. Kozon, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
K.-C. Liu, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
S. S. Manthripragada, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
C. B. Markwardt, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
A. L. Mitchell, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
J. W. Mitchell, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
C. A. Monroe, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
T. Okajima, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
S. E. Pollard, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
D. F. Powers, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
B. J. Savadkin, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
L. B. Winternitz, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
P. T. Chen, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
M. R. Wright, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
R. Foster, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (United States)
G. Prigozhin, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (United States)
R. Remillard, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (United States)
J. Doty, Noqsi Aerospace, Ltd. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9144:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Tadayuki Takahashi; Jan-Willem A. den Herder; Mark Bautz, Editor(s)

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