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Proceedings Paper

The low Earth orbit radiation environment and its impact on the prompt background of hard x-ray focusing telescopes
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Paper Abstract

The background minimization is a science-driven necessity in order to reach deep sensitivity levels in the hard X-ray band, one of the key scientific requirements for hard X-ray telescopes (e.g. NuSTAR, ASTRO-H). It requires a careful modeling of the radiation environment and new concepts of shielding systems. We exploit the Bologna Geant4 Multi-Mission Simulator (BoGEMMS) features to evaluate the impact of the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) radiation environment on the prompt background level for a hybrid Si/CdTe soft and hard X-ray detection assembly and a combined active and passive shielding system. For each class of particles, the spectral distribution of the background flux is simulated, exploring the effect of different materials (plastic vs inorganic active scintillator) and configurations (passive absorbers enclosing or surrounded by the active shielding) on the background count rate. While protons are efficiently removed by the active shielding, an external passive shielding causes the albedo electrons and positrons to be the primary source of background. Albedo neutrons are instead weakly interactive with the active shielding, and they cause an intense background level below 10 keV via elastic scattering. The best shielding configuration in terms of background and active shielding count rates is given by an inorganic scintillator placed inside the passive layers, with the addition of passive material to absorb the intense fluorescence lines of the active shielding and avoid escape peaks on the CdTe detector.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 September 2012
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 8453, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy V, 845331 (25 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926248
Show Author Affiliations
V. Fioretti, Univ. degli Studi di Torino (Italy)
INAF - IASF Bologna (Italy)
A. Bulgarelli, INAF - IASF Bologna (Italy)
G. Malaguti, INAF - IASF Bologna (Italy)
V. Bianchin, INAF - IASF Bologna (Italy)
M. Trifoglio, INAF - IASF Bologna (Italy)
F. Gianotti, INAF - IASF Bologna (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8453:
High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy V
Andrew D. Holland; James W. Beletic, Editor(s)

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