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Proceedings Paper

Modeling the expected performance of the REgolith x-ray imaging spectrometer (REXIS)
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Paper Abstract

OSIRIS-REx is the third spacecraft in the NASA New Frontiers Program and is planned for launch in 2016. OSIRIS-REx will orbit the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu, characterize it, and return a sample of the asteroid’s regolith back to Earth. The Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) is an instrument on OSIRIS-REx designed and built by students at MIT and Harvard. The purpose of REXIS is to collect and image sun-induced fluorescent X-rays emitted by Bennu, thereby providing spectroscopic information related to the elemental makeup of the asteroid regolith and the distribution of features over its surface. Telescopic reflectance spectra suggest a CI or CM chondrite analog meteorite class for Bennu, where this primitive nature strongly motivates its study. A number of factors, however, will influence the generation, measurement, and interpretation of the X-ray spectra measured by REXIS. These include: the compositional nature and heterogeneity of Bennu, the time-variable solar state, X-ray detector characteristics, and geometric parameters for the observations. In this paper, we will explore how these variables influence the precision to which REXIS can measure Bennu’s surface composition. By modeling the aforementioned factors, we place bounds on the expected performance of REXIS and its ability to ultimately place Bennu in an analog meteorite class.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 September 2014
PDF: 29 pages
Proc. SPIE 9222, Imaging Spectrometry XIX, 922207 (19 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2062202
Show Author Affiliations
Niraj K. Inamdar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Richard P. Binzel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Jae Sub Hong, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Branden Allen, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Jonathan Grindlay, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Rebecca A. Masterson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9222:
Imaging Spectrometry XIX
Pantazis Mouroulis; Thomas S. Pagano, Editor(s)

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