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Proceedings Paper

Goldhelox: a project to view the x-ray sun
Author(s): Melody Fair
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Paper Abstract

The `Goldhelox' project (`GOLD' for the color of the sun and `HELOX' for heliocentric observations in x rays) includes a student run research team, involving more than 30 volunteer students and five advising professors, to design and build a project to obtain observations of the sun in x rays by using the Space Shuttle as a platform while situated in a NASA Get-Away Special (GAS) canister. The GAS program allows universities, companies, and others to send small self-contained experiments into space in canisters that are placed in the Shuttle's cargo bay. The main scientific objective is to construct a high-resolution soft x-ray telescope to take rapid succession, full disk pictures of the sun, hopefully during Solar Max. These images will help in the understanding of such solar features as the corona, flares, and chromosphere. The project is organized into four major groups. The Flight Readiness Team is in charge of testing, quality control, all safety aspects, and NASA documentation. The optics system is being designed and built by the Optics Team, and this includes the telescope that has curved- substrate, multilayer mirrors, an x-ray filter, a microchannel plate (MCP) detector, a phosphor screen, a fiberoptic plate, and a customized camera that uses ordinary film. The motors for driving the telescope in two axes, worm drives, sealed container for the electronics and batteries, and the overall structure are part of the Mechanical Team. The Electrical Team's responsibilities include the photodiode sun sensor, a small heater for environmental control, lead-acid gel batteries, the main data collecting computer, telescope controller, supporting electronics, and electrical feedthroughs. This project should increase knowledge in the area of x-ray optics and spaced-based physics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 1991
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1549, EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy II, (1 October 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.48337
Show Author Affiliations
Melody Fair, Brigham Young Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1549:
EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy II
Oswald H. W. Siegmund; Richard E. Rothschild, Editor(s)

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