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Proceedings Paper

AXTAR: mission design concept
Author(s): Paul S. Ray; Deepto Chakrabarty; Colleen A. Wilson-Hodge; Bernard F. Phlips; Ronald A. Remillard; Alan M. Levine; Kent S. Wood; Michael T. Wolff; Chul S. Gwon; Tod E. Strohmayer; Michael Baysinger; Michael S. Briggs; Peter Capizzo; Leo Fabisinski; Randall C. Hopkins; Linda S. Hornsby; Les Johnson; C. Dauphne Maples; Janie H. Miernik; Dan Thomas; Gianluigi De Geronimo
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Paper Abstract

The Advanced X-ray Timing Array (AXTAR) is a mission concept for X-ray timing of compact objects that combines very large collecting area, broadband spectral coverage, high time resolution, highly flexible scheduling, and an ability to respond promptly to time-critical targets of opportunity. It is optimized for submillisecond timing of bright Galactic X-ray sources in order to study phenomena at the natural time scales of neutron star surfaces and black hole event horizons, thus probing the physics of ultradense matter, strongly curved spacetimes, and intense magnetic fields. AXTAR's main instrument, the Large Area Timing Array (LATA) is a collimated instrument with 2-50 keV coverage and over 3 square meters effective area. The LATA is made up of an array of supermodules that house 2-mm thick silicon pixel detectors. AXTAR will provide a significant improvement in effective area (a factor of 7 at 4 keV and a factor of 36 at 30 keV) over the RXTE PCA. AXTAR will also carry a sensitive Sky Monitor (SM) that acts as a trigger for pointed observations of X-ray transients in addition to providing high duty cycle monitoring of the X-ray sky. We review the science goals and technical concept for AXTAR and present results from a preliminary mission design study.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 2010
PDF: 19 pages
Proc. SPIE 7732, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 773248 (29 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857385
Show Author Affiliations
Paul S. Ray, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Deepto Chakrabarty, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Colleen A. Wilson-Hodge, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Bernard F. Phlips, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Ronald A. Remillard, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Alan M. Levine, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Kent S. Wood, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Michael T. Wolff, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Chul S. Gwon, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Tod E. Strohmayer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Michael Baysinger, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Michael S. Briggs, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Peter Capizzo, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Leo Fabisinski, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Randall C. Hopkins, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Linda S. Hornsby, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Les Johnson, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
C. Dauphne Maples, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Janie H. Miernik, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Dan Thomas, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Gianluigi De Geronimo, Brookhaven National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7732:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Monique Arnaud; Stephen S. Murray; Tadayuki Takahashi, Editor(s)

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