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Proceedings Paper

LOBSTER-ISS: an imaging x-ray all-sky monitor for the International Space Station
Author(s): George W. Fraser; Adam N. Brunton; Nigel P. Bannister; James F. Pearson; Martin Ward; Tim J. Stevenson; D. J. Watson; Bob Warwick; S. Whitehead; Paul O'Brian; Nicholas White; Keith Jahoda; Kevin Black; Stanley D. Hunter; Phil Deines-Jones; William C. Priedhorsky; Steven P. Brumby; Konstantin N. Borozdin; Thomas Vestrand; A. C. Fabian; Keith A. Nugent; Andrew G. Peele; Thomas H. K. Irving; Steve Price; Steve Eckersley; Ian Renouf; Mark Smith; Arvind N. Parmar; I. M. McHardy; P. Uttley; Andrew Lawrence
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Paper Abstract

We describe the design of Lobster-ISS, an X-ray imaging all-sky monitor (ASM) to be flown as an attached payload on the International Space Station. Lobster-ISS is the subject of an ESA Phase-A study which will begin in December 2001. With an instantaneous field of view 162 x 22.5 degrees, Lobster-ISS will map almost the complete sky every 90 minute ISS orbit, generating a confusion-limited catalogue of ~250,000 sources every 2 months. Lobster-ISS will use focusing microchannel plate optics and imaging gas proportional micro-well detectors; work is currently underway to improve the MCP optics and to develop proportional counter windows with enhanced transmission and negligible rates of gas leakage, thus improving instrument throughput and reducing mass. Lobster-ISS provides an order of magnitude improvement in the sensitivity of X-ray ASMs, and will, for the first time, provide continuous monitoring of the sky in the soft X-ray region (0.1-3.5 keV). Lobster-ISS provides long term monitoring of all classes of variable X-ray source, and an essential alert facility, with rapid detection of transient X-ray sources such as Gamma-Ray Burst afterglows being relayed to contemporary pointed X-ray observatories. The mission, with a nominal lifetime of 3 years, is scheduled for launch on the Shuttle c.2009.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 January 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4497, X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy XII, (25 January 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.454217
Show Author Affiliations
George W. Fraser, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Adam N. Brunton, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Nigel P. Bannister, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
James F. Pearson, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Martin Ward, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Tim J. Stevenson, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
D. J. Watson, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Bob Warwick, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
S. Whitehead, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Paul O'Brian, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Nicholas White, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Keith Jahoda, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Kevin Black, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Stanley D. Hunter, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Phil Deines-Jones, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
William C. Priedhorsky, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Steven P. Brumby, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Konstantin N. Borozdin, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Thomas Vestrand, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
A. C. Fabian, Institute of Astronomy (United Kingdom)
Keith A. Nugent, Univ. of Melbourne (Australia)
Andrew G. Peele, Univ. of Melbourne (Australia)
Thomas H. K. Irving, Univ. of Melbourne (Australia)
Steve Price, Astrium Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Steve Eckersley, Astrium Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Ian Renouf, Astrium Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Mark Smith, Astrium Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Arvind N. Parmar, European Space Agency/ESTEC (Netherlands)
I. M. McHardy, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)
P. Uttley, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)
Andrew Lawrence, Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4497:
X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy XII
Kathryn A. Flanagan; Oswald H. W. Siegmund, Editor(s)

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