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O. Vilhu, P. Muhli, J. Huovelin (Univ.Helsinki), P. Hakala (Univ.Turku), D.C. Hannikainen (Univ.Southampton), M. Grande, B. Kellett (RAL)
The primary objective of the SMART-1 (ESA) mission is to test solar electric propulsion and to orbit the Moon for a nominal period of six months. The science payload includes e.g. the Demonstration of a Compact Imaging X-ray Spectrometer D-CIXS (pronounced Dee-Kicks!). Its main goal is to observe fluorescence X-rays with high spectral and spatial resolution from the Moon's surface. During the escape phase leaving Earth (15 - 17 months), D-CIXS can observe X-ray sources. Solar flares will also be monitored with the X-ray Solar Monitor (XSM). We present a potential cruise science program for selected X-ray binaries and microquasars. The long journey to the Moon provides us with an unique opportunity to study long-term variability of XRBs on a regular basis using X-ray spectroscopy. The accumulated data can be used to probe the geometry and physical properties of accretion disks of about a dozen persistently bright XRBs, and, in particular, to search for and verify the presence and stability of superorbital periods (tilted and warped disks). Further, we present simulations with D-CIXS on the long time scale behaviour of the disk-corona structure in a selected microquasar. This work is supported by the Finnish Technology Development Agency TEKES, Academy of Finland and PPARC of UK.