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Proceedings Paper

Application of an EMCCD camera for calibration of hard X-ray telescopes
Author(s): Julia K. Vogel; Michael J. Pivovaroff; Vivek V. Nagarkar; Haris Kudrolli; Kristin Kruse Madsen; Jason E. Koglin; Charles J. Hailey; William W. Craig; Finn E. Christensen; Nicolai F. Brejnholt
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Paper Abstract

Recent technological innovations make it feasible to construct efficient hard x-ray telescopes for space-based astronomical missions. Focusing optics are capable of improving the sensitivity in the energy range above 10 keV by orders of magnitude compared to previously used instruments. The last decade has seen focusing optics developed for balloon experiments and they are implemented in approved space missions such as the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR). The full characterization of x-ray optics for astrophysical missions, including measurement of the point spread function (PSF) as well as scattering and reflectivity properties of substrate coatings, requires a large area detector with very high spatial resolution and sensitivity, photon counting and energy discriminating capability. Novel back-thinned Electron Multiplying Charge-Coupled Devices (EMCCDs) are suitable detectors for ground-based calibrations if combined with a scintillating material. This optical coupling of the EMCCD chip to a microcolumnar CsI(Tl) scintillator can be achieved via a fiberoptic taper. Not only does this detector system exhibit low noise and high spatial resolution inherent to CCDs, but the EMCCD is also able to handle high frame rates. Additionally, thick CsI(Tl) yields high detection efficiency for x-rays. In this paper, we discuss the advantages of using an EMCCD to calibrate hard x-ray optics. We will illustrate the promising features of this detector solution using examples of data obtained during the ground calibration of the NuSTAR telescopes performed at Columbia University during 2010/2011. Finally, we give an outlook on latest development and optimizations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8443, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 84432L (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926386
Show Author Affiliations
Julia K. Vogel, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Michael J. Pivovaroff, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Vivek V. Nagarkar, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Haris Kudrolli, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Kristin Kruse Madsen, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Jason E. Koglin, Columbia Univ. Astrophysics Lab. (United States)
Charles J. Hailey, Columbia Univ. Astrophysics Lab. (United States)
William W. Craig, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Finn E. Christensen, DTU Space (Denmark)
Nicolai F. Brejnholt, DTU Space (Denmark)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8443:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Tadayuki Takahashi; Stephen S. Murray; Jan-Willem A. den Herder, Editor(s)

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