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Proceedings Paper

A slitless x-ray imaging spectrograph concept for solar-pointed CubeSats (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Amir Caspi; Albert Y. Shih; Harry P. Warren; Marek Steslicki; Janusz Sylwester; Craig DeForest; Glenn Laurent
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Paper Abstract

Soft X-ray emission from ~0.1 to 10 keV (~1-100 Å) provides unique diagnostics for high-temperature plasmas, but observations of the Sun in this energy range that are both spectrally and spatially resolved have been nearly non-existent. The Multi-Order X-ray Spectral Imager (MOXSI) is an instrument concept for a novel, slitless X-ray imaging spectrograph that will make crucial new measurements in this observationally-important wavelength range yet still fit within the limited resource constraints of a CubeSat. MOXSI utilizes a custom pinhole camera with a COTS, back-thinned CMOS sensor combined with a Chandra-heritage X-ray transmission diffraction grating to provide spatially-resolved, full-Sun imaging spectroscopy from ~1 to ~55 Å (~0.2-10 keV) with ~25 arcsec and ~0.25 Å FWHM spatial and spectral resolutions, respectively, and cadence of ~few tens of sec. MOXSI produces images akin to an “overlappograph,” with the 0th-order and dispersed images overlaid on the same detector; the dispersion direction is specifically oriented orthogonal to the latitudinal bands of solar activity to minimize source confusion. Additional pinhole apertures with custom entrance filters provide undispersed broadband filtergram images for additional source information. To mitigate motion-induced smearing, an on-board, real-time motion compensation system co-adds a series of frames for each integration period. MOXSI is one of the instruments of the proposed CubeSat Imaging X-ray Solar Spectrometer (CubIXSS) mission concept, which will improve our physical understanding of thermal plasma processes and impulsive energy release in the solar corona, from quiet Sun to solar flares, and the impact of solar X-rays on Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 December 2016
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 9978, CubeSats and NanoSats for Remote Sensing, 99780B (7 December 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2238478
Show Author Affiliations
Amir Caspi, Southwest Research Institute (United States)
Albert Y. Shih, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Harry P. Warren, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Marek Steslicki, Space Research Ctr. (Poland)
Janusz Sylwester, Space Research Ctr. (Poland)
Craig DeForest, Southwest Research Institute (United States)
Glenn Laurent, Southwest Research Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9978:
CubeSats and NanoSats for Remote Sensing
Thomas S. Pagano, Editor(s)

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