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Proceedings Paper

Effects of micrometeoroid and space debris impacts in grazing incidence telescopes
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Paper Abstract

CCD detectors in the focal plane cameras of grazing incidence X-ray telescopes on the XMM-Newton and SWIFT satellites have encountered damage which has been attributed to impacts by external particles. The apparent mechanism is one whereby interplanetary micrometeoroid particles or space debris have been ingested by the grazing incidence mirrors and scattered down the telescope tube on to the CCD detectors in the focal plane. At the time of writing, there have been 5 such events detected in total by the three XMM telescopes during five years of operations and one event detected by the SWIFT X-ray Telescope (XRT) during one year in orbit. Significantly, no events of this type have been reported for Chandra. Modelling and analysis of scattering of small particles from grazing incidence mirrors allows us to explain the different impact rates seen by these three satellites. Furthermore, using the ESA MASTER2005 micrometeoroid and space debris impacts flux model, impact rates have been derived from consideration of Swift's orbit, pointing history and the dust and debris particle environment. This modelling can be used to determine whether risk mitigation strategies are required for the continuing operation of SWIFT and other operating observatories, and also provides a basis for predicting particle impact rates for grazing incidence telescopes on future missions such as XEUS, Constellation-X and others.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 June 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6266, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation II: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 62663K (15 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.677410
Show Author Affiliations
A. F. Abbey, Space Research Ctr., Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
R. M. Ambrosi, Space Research Ctr., Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
A. Wells, Space Research Ctr., Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Leverhulme Foundation (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6266:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation II: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Martin J. L. Turner; Günther Hasinger, Editor(s)

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