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Proceedings Paper

EXIST: mission design concept and technology program
Author(s): Jonathan E. Grindlay; William W. Craig; Neil A. Gehrels; Fiona A. Harrison; J. Hong
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Paper Abstract

The Energetic X-ray Imaging Survey Telescope (EXIST) is a proposed very large area coded aperture telescope array, incorporting 8m2 of pixelated Cd-Zn-Te (CZT) detectors, to conduct a full-sky imaging and temporal hard x-ray survey each 95min orbit. With a sensitivity of ~0.05mCrab, it will extend the ROSAT soft x-ray and proposed ROSITA medium x-ray surveys into the hard x-ray band and enable identifiaiton and study of sources ~10-20X fainter than with the ~15-100keV survey planned for the upcoming Swift mission. At ~100-600keV, the ~1mCrab sensitivity is 300X that achieved in the only previous all-sky survey. EXIST will address a broad range of key science objectives: from obscured AGN and surveys for black holes on all scales, which constrain the acretion history of the universe, to the highest sensitivity and resolution studies of gamma-ray bursts it will conduct as the Next Generation Gamma-Ray Burst mission. We summarize the science objectives and mission drivers, and the results of a mission design study for implementation as a free flyer mission, with Delta IV launch. Key issues affecting the telescope and detector design are discussed, and a summary of some of the current design concepts being studied in support of EXIST is presented for the wide-field but high resolutoin coded aperture imaging and very large area array of imaging CZT detectors. Overall mission design is summarized, and technology development needs and a development program are outlined which would enable the launch of EXIST by the end of the decade, as recommended by the NAS/NRC Decadal Survey.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 March 2003
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 4851, X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Telescopes and Instruments for Astronomy, (11 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.461470
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan E. Grindlay, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
William W. Craig, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Neil A. Gehrels, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Fiona A. Harrison, California Institute of Technology (United States)
J. Hong, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4851:
X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Telescopes and Instruments for Astronomy
Joachim E. Truemper; Harvey D. Tananbaum, Editor(s)

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