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Proceedings Paper

On-orbit radiography of space vehicles using natural radiation
Author(s): William C. Priedhorsky; Scott M. Ransom
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Paper Abstract

We demonstrate that 80-140 keV hard X-rays from the X-ray star Cygnus X-1 could be used, in principle, to image the interior of an unknown target spacecraft. A simulated radiograph shows good signal-to-noise in a 1000-second exposure with ~2 cm spatial resolution. Because of the high collimation and short wavelength of the radiation, an image can be formed at almost any target-detector distance. Practical application of the technique would require the detector spacecraft to assume a parallel trajectory with the target and maintain station accurately enough to hold the radiograph shadow on its sensitive surface. Further research is needed on 1) detector background minimization in high-latitude and high-altitude orbits; 2) image formation for rotating targets, which is a problem similar to computerized tomography; and 3) optimization of navigation and station-keeping.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 December 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5199, Penetrating Radiation Systems and Applications V, (30 December 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.523614
Show Author Affiliations
William C. Priedhorsky, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Scott M. Ransom, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5199:
Penetrating Radiation Systems and Applications V
H. Bradford Barber; F. Patrick Doty; Hans Roehrig, Editor(s)

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