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Proceedings Paper

Prospects for the 2014/2015 Nuclear Compton Telescope balloon campaign
Author(s): A. Lowell; S. Boggs; A. Zoglauer; N. Barriere; M. Amman; P. Luke; P. von Ballmoos; P. Jean; H. K. Chang; J. L. Chiu; J. S. Liang
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Paper Abstract

The Nuclear Compton Telescope (NCT) is a balloon-borne soft γ-ray (0.2-10 MeV) telescope designed to perform wide-field imaging, high-resolution spectroscopy, and novel polarization analysis of astrophysical sources. NCT employs a novel Compton telescope design, utilizing 12 high spectral resolution germanium detectors, with the ability to localize photon interaction in three dimensions. NCT underwent its first science flight from Fort Sumner, NM in Spring 2009, and was partially destroyed during a second launch attempt from Alice Spring, Australia in Spring 2010. We have begun the rebuilding process and are using this as an opportunity to update and optimize various aspects of NCT. The cryostat which houses the 12 germanium detectors is being redesigned so as to accommodate the detectors in a new configuration, which will increase the effective area and improve the on-axis performance as well as polarization sensitivity of NCT. We will be replacing the liquid nitrogen detector cooling system with a cryocooler system which will allow for long duration flights. Various structural changes to NCT, such as the use of an all new gondola, will affect the physical layout of the electronics and instrument subsystems. We expect to return to flight readiness by Fall 2013, at which point we will recommence science flights. We will discuss science goals for the rebuilt NCT as well as proposed flight campaigns.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8443, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 84434U (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926848
Show Author Affiliations
A. Lowell, Space Sciences Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
S. Boggs, Space Sciences Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
A. Zoglauer, Space Sciences Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
N. Barriere, Space Sciences Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
M. Amman, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (United States)
P. Luke, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (United States)
P. von Ballmoos, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
P. Jean, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
H. K. Chang, National Tsing Hua Univ. (Taiwan)
J. L. Chiu, National Tsing Hua Univ. (Taiwan)
J. S. Liang, National Tsing Hua Univ. (Taiwan)


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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