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Proceedings Paper

The gas pixel detector as an x-ray photoelectric polarimeter with a large field of view
Author(s): Fabio Muleri; Paolo Soffitta; Ronaldo Bellazzini; Alessandro Brez; Enrico Costa; Sergio Fabiani; Massimo Frutti; Massimo Minuti; Maria Barbara Negri; Michele Pinchera; Alda Rubini; Gloria Spandre
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Paper Abstract

The Gas Pixel Detector (GPD) is a new generation device which, thanks to its 50 μm pixels, is capable of imaging the photoelectrons tracks produced by photoelectric absorption in a gas. Since the direction of emission of the photoelectrons is strongly correlated with the direction of polarization of the absorbed photons, this device has been proposed as a polarimeter for the study of astrophysical sources, with a sensitivity far higher than the instruments flown to date. The GPD has been always regarded as a focal plane instrument and then it has been proposed to be included on the next generation space-borne missions together with a grazing incidence optics. Instead in this paper we explore the feasibility of a new kind of application of the GPD and of the photoelectric polarimeters in general, i.e. an instrument with a large field of view. By means of an analytical treatment and measurements, we verify if it is possible to preserve the sensitivity to the polarization for inclined beams, opening the way for the measurement of X-ray polarization for transient astrophysical sources. While severe systematic effects arise for inclination greater than about 20 degrees, methods and algorithms to control them are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 2008
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7011, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 70112A (15 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789621
Show Author Affiliations
Fabio Muleri, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica (Italy)
Univ. di Roma Tor Vergata (Italy)
Paolo Soffitta, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica (Italy)
Ronaldo Bellazzini, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (Italy)
Alessandro Brez, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (Italy)
Enrico Costa, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica (Italy)
Sergio Fabiani, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica (Italy)
Massimo Frutti, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica (Italy)
Massimo Minuti, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (Italy)
Maria Barbara Negri, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (Italy)
Michele Pinchera, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (Italy)
Alda Rubini, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica (Italy)
Gloria Spandre, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7011:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Martin J. L. Turner; Kathryn A. Flanagan, Editor(s)

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