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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Simbol-X: a formation flight mission with an unprecedented imaging capability in the 0.5-80 keV energy band

Paper Abstract

The discovery of X-ray emission from cosmic sources in the 1960s has opened a new powerful observing window on the Universe. In fact, the exploration of the X-ray sky during the 70s–90s has established X-ray astronomy as a fundamental field of astrophysics. Today, the emission from astrophysical sources is by large best known at energies below 10 keV. The main reason for this situation is purely technical since grazing incidence reflection has so far been limited to the soft X-ray band. Above 10 keV all the observations have been obtained with collimated detectors or coded mask instruments. To make a leap step forward in Xray astronomy above 10 keV it is necessary to extend the principle of focusing X ray optics to higher energies, up to 80 keV and beyond. To this end, ASI and CNES are presently studying the implementation of a X–ray mission called Simbol-X.

Taking advantage of emerging technology in mirror manufacturing and spacecraft formation flying, Simbol-X will push grazing incidence imaging up to ~ 80 keV and beyond, providing a strong improvement both in sensitivity and angular resolution compared to all instruments that have operated so far above 10 keV. This technological breakthrough will open a new highenergy window in astrophysics and cosmology. Here we will address the problematic of the development for such a distributed and deformable instrument. We will focus on the main performances of the telescope, like angular resolution, sensitivity and source localization. We will also describe the specificity of the calibration aspects of the payload distributed over two satellites and therefore in a not “frozen” configuration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 2017
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10566, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2008, 105660Y (21 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2308202
Show Author Affiliations
Gianpiero Tagliaferri, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (Italy)
Philippe Ferrando, CEA-Saclay (France)
Jean-Michel Le Duigou, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Giovanni Pareschi, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (Italy)
Philippe Laurent, CEA-Saclay (France)
Giuseppe Malaguti, INAF - IASF Bologna (Italy)
Rodolphe Clédassou, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Mauro Piermaria, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (Italy)
Olivier La Marle, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
Fabrizio Fiore, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italy)
Paolo Giommi, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10566:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2008
Josiane Costeraste; Errico Armandillo; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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