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Proceedings Paper

High-pressure gas-scintillation-proportional counter for the focus of a hard-x-ray telescope
Author(s): Robert A. Austin; Brian D. Ramsey; C. L. Tse; C. G Zirnstein
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Paper Abstract

We are developing a high-pressure Gas Scintillation Proportional Counter for the focus of a balloon-borne hard - x-ray telescope. The device has a total active diameter of 50 mm, of which the central 20 mm only is used, and is filled with xenon + 4 percent helium at a total pressure of 106 Pa giving a quantum efficiency of greater than 85 percent up to 60 keV. The detector entrance is sealed with a beryllium window, 3-mm thick, which provides useful transmission down to 6 keV, well below the atmospheric cut- off at balloon float altitudes. Scintillation light exits the detector via a UV transmitting window in its base and is registered by a Hamamatsu position-sensitive crossed-grid- readout photomultiplier tube. Initial testing is underway and preliminary measurements of light yield, energy resolution and spatial resolution will be reported. Simulations show that a spatial resolution of 0.5 mm FWHM or better should be achievable up to 60 keV, and this is well matched to the angular resolution and plate scale of the mirror system. The energy resolution has been measured to be around 5 percent at 22 keV. Full details of the instrument design and its performance will be presented. A first flight is scheduled for the Fall of 99, on a stratospheric balloon to be launched form Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 October 1999
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3765, EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy X, (22 October 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.366553
Show Author Affiliations
Robert A. Austin, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Brian D. Ramsey, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
C. L. Tse, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
C. G Zirnstein, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3765:
EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Instrumentation for Astronomy X
Oswald H. W. Siegmund; Kathryn A. Flanagan, Editor(s)

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