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Proceedings Paper

CZT in space-based hard x-ray astronomy: background predictions for EXIST
Author(s): A. Garson; H. Krawczynski; G. Weidenspointner; E. I. Novikova; J. Grindlay; J. Hong; I. V. Jung
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Paper Abstract

One of the key aspects of a detector material for space-borne hard X-ray and gamma-ray telescopes is the rate of prompt and delayed background events generated inside the material by charged and neutral particles striking the detector. These particles are Cosmic Rays, particles trapped in Earth's magnetic field, and secondaries from Cosmic Ray interacting with the atmosphere and the spacecraft. Here, we present a preliminary study of Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) and its behaviour in space environments. We have used the simulation package MGGPOD to estimate the background of the CZT detectors in the proposed Energetic X-ray Imaging Survey Telescope (EXIST) for possible orbital parameters. The EXIST mission will make use of ~6 m2 of >0.5 cm thick CZT detectors to record cosmic X-rays in the energy range from 10 keV to 600 keV. The detectors will be shielded by a fully or partly active shield. For the specific detector and shielding geometry considered here and an orbit with a low (7°) inclination, the background rate is dominated by diffuse extragalactic photons below ~200 keV. Prompt and delayed hadronic backgrounds grow increasingly important above this energy, becoming the main contributors to the total background above ~1 MeV. A fully active shield performs slightly better than a half active/half passive shield.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 September 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6319, Hard X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Detector Physics and Penetrating Radiation Systems VIII, 63190D (11 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.684082
Show Author Affiliations
A. Garson, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
H. Krawczynski, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
G. Weidenspointner, Ctr. d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements (France)
E. I. Novikova, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
J. Grindlay, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
J. Hong, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
I. V. Jung, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6319:
Hard X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Detector Physics and Penetrating Radiation Systems VIII
F. Patrick Doty; Larry A. Franks; Arnold Burger; H. Bradford Barber; Hans Roehrig; Ralph B. James, Editor(s)

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