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The Geant4 mass model of the ATHENA Silicon Pore Optics and its effect on soft proton scattering
Author(s): Valentina Fioretti; Andrea Bulgarelli; Simone Lotti; Claudio Macculi; Teresa Mineo; Luigi Piro; Debora Bruno; Massimo Cappi; Mauro Dadina
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Paper Abstract

Given the unprecedented effective area, the new ATHENA Silicon Pore Optics (SPO) focusing technology, the dynamic and variable L2 environment, where no X-ray mission has flown up to date, a dedicated Geant4 simulation campaign is needed to evaluate the impact of low energy protons scattering on the ATHENA mirror surface and the induced residual background level on its X-ray detectors. The Geant4 mass model of ATHENA SPO is built as part of the ESA AREMBES project activities using the BoGEMMS framework. An SPO mirror module row is the atomic unit of the mass model, allowing the simulation of the full structure by means of 20 independent runs, one for each row. No reflecting coating is applied in the model: this simplification implies small differences (few percentages) in the proton flux, while reducing the number of volumes composing the mass model and the consequent simulation processing time. Thanks to the BoGEMMS configuration files, both single pores, mirror modules or the entire SPO row can be built with the same Geant4 geometry. The conical approximation used for the Si plates transmits 20% less photons than the actual SPO design, simulated with a ray-tracing code. Assuming the same transmission reduction for protons, a 20% uncertainty can be accepted given the overall uncertainties of the input fluxes. Both Remizovich, in its elastic approximation, and Coulomb single scattering Geant4 models are used in the interaction of mono-energetic proton beams with a single SPO pore. The scattering efficiency for the first model is almost twice the efficiency obtained with the latter but for both cases we obtain similar polar and azimuthal angular distributions, with about 70-75% of scatterings generated by single or double reflections. The soft proton flux modelled for the plasma sheet region is used as input for the simulation of soft proton funneling by the full SPO mass model. A much weaker soft proton vignetting than the one observed by XMM-Newton EPIC detectors is generated by ATHENA mirrors. The residual soft proton flux reaching the focal plane, defined as a 15 cm radius, is 104 times lower than the input L2 soft proton population entering the mirror, at the same energy, with rates comparable or higher than the ones observed in XMM EPIC-pn most intense soft proton flares.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 July 2018
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10699, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 106993J (6 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2312729
Show Author Affiliations
Valentina Fioretti, l’Osservatorio di astrofisica e scienza dello spazio di Bologna (Italy)
Andrea Bulgarelli, l’Osservatorio di astrofisica e scienza dello spazio di Bologna (Italy)
Simone Lotti, INAF - Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (Italy)
Claudio Macculi, INAF - Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (Italy)
Teresa Mineo, INAF - Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (Italy)
Luigi Piro, l’Osservatorio di astrofisica e scienza dello spazio di Roma (Italy)
Debora Bruno, l’Osservatorio di astrofisica e scienza dello spazio di Bologna (Italy)
Massimo Cappi, l’Osservatorio di astrofisica e scienza dello spazio di Bologna (Italy)
Mauro Dadina, l’Osservatorio di astrofisica e scienza dello spazio di Bologna (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10699:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Jan-Willem A. den Herder; Shouleh Nikzad; Kazuhiro Nakazawa, Editor(s)

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