8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 16 Missions, Instruments and Data Analysis
Poster, Thursday, September 9, 2004, 9:00am-10:00pm

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[16.19] CASTER: A Scintillator-Based Black Hole Finder Probe

M.L. Cherry (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA 70803), G.L. Case (Louisiana State University and Southern University, Baton Rouge LA 70813), J.P. Cravens (Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX 78228), T.G. Guzik (Louisiana State University), R.M. Kippen (Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545), J.R. Macri, M.L. McConnell (University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824), R.S. Miller, W.S. Paciesas (University of Alabama – Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899), J.M. Ryan (University of New Hampshire), B.E. Schaefer (Louisiana State University), J.G. Stacy (Louisiana State University and Southern University), W.T. Vestrand (Los Alamos National Laboratory), P. von Ballmoos (CESR, Toulouse, France), J.P. Wefel (Louisiana State University)

As part of NASA’s Beyond Einstein program, the Black Hole Finder Probe (BHFP) is designed to survey the local Universe for black holes over a wide range of mass and accretion rate. One approach to such a survey is a hard X-ray coded aperture imaging mission operating in the 10-600 keV energy band, a spectral range considered to be especially useful for detecting black hole sources. In order to maximize sensitivity given the constraints of the mission, we describe the Coded Aperture Survey Telescope for Energetic Radiation (CASTER), a mission concept optimized to meet the BHFP science goals using one or more wide-field-of-view coded aperture instruments with detection planes based on inorganic scintillator technology. The development of new inorganic scintillator materials (e.g., LaBr3) provides improved light output, energy resolution, and timing that is well suited to the BHFP science requirements; a new generation of readout devices represents a major advance in the performance capabilities of scintillator-based gamma cameras; and the use of segmented scintillators coupled to optical fibers promises to reduce the number of electronics channels and simplify the readout complexity.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: cherry@lsu.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.