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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Alignment monitoring system for ASTRO-H
Author(s): Frédéric Grandmont; Fabien Dupont; Louis Moreau; Martin Larouche; Louis-Philippe Bibeau; Sylvio Laplante

Paper Abstract

High Energy Astrophysics (HEA) encompasses a broad range of astrophysical science, with sources that include stars and stellar clusters, compact objects (black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs), supernova remnants, the interstellar medium, galaxies and clusters of galaxies, Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), and gamma ray bursters, as well as a variety of fundamental physical processes. The physics involved includes extremes of gravity, density and magnetic field and is often inaccessible via any other waveband. HEA investigates and answers crucial questions in all fields of contemporary astrophysics.

Unlike the focusing of radio and optical light, X-rays are brought to focus through shallow, grazing incident angles. The analogy of skimming a stone across a pond is appropriate in describing how X-rays are focused. The higher the energy of the X-ray photon the shallower the incident angle must be, thereby introducing the requirement of longer focal lengths for focusing high-energy X-rays (E > 10 keV). This technical challenge has hindered scientific advancement in the high-energy regime, while at lower X-ray energies the community has prospered immensely with spectacular data from focusing observatories like XMM-Newton, Chandra, and Suzaku. Now, with ASTRO-H, the community will reap similar rewards from the tremendous improvement in spatial and spectral resolution at high energies. ASTRO-H is a JAXA mission. More information can be found on the ASTRO-H web site [1].

Because of the grazing-angle optics, high-energy X-ray instruments have a long focal length. The Hard X-ray Imager (HXI) of ASTRO-H has its detector housed in a boom that will extend by about 6 m in orbit so that a focal length of 12 m can be achieved for that instrument. This long structure will inevitably oscillate and flex, especially when passing across the orbital day/night boundary. In order to retain the essential imaging resolution, it is important that the boom has a metrology system that measures this flexion in order to allow post-acquisition compensation in generating the science images. In the current paper, we describe a possible Alignment Monitoring System (AMS) to measure in real time the relative position of the boom. The AMS will be an important element to guaranty that the ASTRO-H observatory will meet its performance requirements.

The Canadian Space Agency has the intention of providing the AMS to the ASTRO-H mission. The current paper reports a study that was conducted to support that intention.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 January 2018
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 10565, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2010, 1056557 (11 January 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2309127
Show Author Affiliations
Frédéric Grandmont, ABB Bomem Inc. (Canada)
Fabien Dupont, ABB Bomem Inc. (Canada)
Louis Moreau, ABB Bomem Inc. (Canada)
Martin Larouche, ABB Bomem Inc. (Canada)
Louis-Philippe Bibeau, ABB Bomem Inc. (Canada)
Sylvio Laplante, ABB Bomem Inc. (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10565:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2010
Errico Armandillo; Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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