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Imaging solar flares in hard X rays and gamma rays is the current scientific frontier for solar flare physics. The objectives of the HEIDI Project are to develop the Fourier-transform imaging technique using rotating modulation collimators (RMCs) and to obtain hard X-ray and gamma-ray images of solar flares and non-solar, cosmic X-ray sources such as the Crab Nebula. As currently configured, the HEIDI payload has two RMCs with 25-arcsecond and 11-arcsecond angular resolution, respectively; sensitivity to photon energies as high as 700 keV; and time resolution for individual photon events of 100 microseconds. It flew for the first time on June 22, 1993, and was pointed at the Crab Nebula and at the Sun throughout the six-hour flight. The HEIDI effort is envisioned as part of a long-term growth plan in which HEIDI will serve not only as a vehicle for testing grids and associated alignment techniques being developed for the High Energy Solar Physics (HESP) mission, but also as a hard X-ray and gamma-ray imager, ready to fly during the next solar maximum should HESP not come to fruition. Results from the first flight and a description of plans for the future of HEIDI will be presented.
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