AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 12 Con-X Instruments and Optics
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-7:00pm, January 9, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[12.04] Requirements, Goals and Challenges for an X-Ray Microcalorimeter Spectrometer on the Constellation-X Observatory

R.L. Kelley (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center), Con-X Team

X-ray microcalorimeter arrays are well suited to address key problems in high-energy astrophysics. Their high spectral resolution, high quantum efficiency and imaging capability provide a powerful new tool for astrophysicists. These features have made the microcalorimeter a key component of the Constellation-X mission. Building on the potential and demonstrated performance in orbit of the JAXA/NASA high resolution X-Ray Spectrometer on Suzaku (formerly Astro-E2), plans are underway to implement much larger arrays of microcalorimeters with higher spectral resolution and optimal pixel design to match the x-ray mirror performance. A 2.5’ array with 5” pixels that have a resolving power > 2600 at the Fe-K shell energy (6 keV) is the starting point for possible designs, and would enable new capabilities for measuring the properties of all classes of celestial sources, including those with extended x-ray emission. The low temperatures required for microcalorimeter performance will be achieved by using multiple, cryogen-free cooling stages designed to operate for many years in space. We will present the basic design requirements, goals and technical roadmap for the Constellation-X X-Ray Microcalorimeter Spectrometer (XMS).

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: Richard.L.Kelley@nasa.gov

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