HEAD Division Meeting 1999, April 1999
Session 26. Missions and Instruments
Poster, Wednesday, April 14, 1999, 8:30am Wed. - 2:00pm Thurs., Gold Room

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[26.04] Background Studies of a Position Sensitive CdZnTe X-ray Detector at Balloon Altitudes

K. Slavis, P. Dowkontt, J. Epstein, P. Hink (Washington University), J. Matteson, F. Duttweiler, G. Huszar, P. Leblanc, R. Skelton, E. Stephan (University of California, San Diego)

Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) is a room temperature semiconductor detector well suited for high energy X-ray astronomy. As part of the High Energy X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (HEXIS) development, we flew a position sensitive CZT detector on two balloon flights using seven shielding schemes to study the background properties of the CZT detector. Passive, active and hybrid passive-active shields were used on the cross-strip detector as well as on a standard planar CZT flown along side the cross-strip CZT for comparison. The cross-strip detector utilizes our recently developed, novel electrode configuration that improves interaction localization and depth of interaction (DOI) determination. During the flight, shield pulse heights were telemetered along with event data allowing us to conduct detailed studies of shield rejection effects. Preliminary results have been presented on the effectiveness of shielding and background reduction techniques that employ the DOI, as indicated by the ratio of cathode to anode pulse height (Slavis, et. al., SPIE Proc., 3445, 169, 1998, and Slavis, et. al., AAS #193, #66.05, 1999). Preliminary analysis indicates the 40-80 keV background is 4x10-4 cts/cm^2-s-keV for the cross-strip CZT without applying rejection techniques other than an active-shield energy deposition veto. We present here results incorporating more sophisticated background rejection techniques such as refinements to the preliminary DOI cut, multiple-site signatures and a more detailed investigation of the dependence of shield energy deposition on background rejection. We will also present upper limits on CZT activation. This is possible because the long duration at float in 1998 permitted cycling through the shield configurations for run times separated by at least 8 hours. Based on our preliminary analysis, we are confident that CZT detectors will be desirable for future low background, hard X-ray astronomy missions.

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