AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 61. The Future of Extreme Ultraviolet Astronomy
Display, Wednesday, June 5, 2002, 10:00am-7:00pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[61.01] The Astrophysical Plasmadynamic Explorer (APEX): A High Resolution Spectroscopic Observatory

M. P. Kowalski, R. G. Cruddace, K. S. Wood, D. J. Yentis, H. Gursky (NRL), T. W. Barbee, Jr., W. H. Goldstein, J. F. Kordas (LLNL), G. G. Fritz (PRAXIS, Inc.), M. A. Barstow, N. P. Bannister (U. of Leicester), J. S. Lapington (Boston U.)

EUVE and the ROSAT WFC have left a tremendous legacy in astrophysics at EUV wavelengths. More recently, Chandra and XMM-Newton have demonstrated at X-ray wavelengths the power of high-resolution astronomical spectroscopy, which allows the identification of weak emission lines, the measurement of Doppler shifts and line profiles, and the detection of narrow absorption features. This leads to a complete understanding of the density, temperature, abundance, magnetic, and dynamic structure of astrophysical plasmas. However, the termination of the EUVE mission has left a gaping hole in spectral coverage at crucial EUV wavelengths (~100-300 Angstroms), where hot (105-108 K) plasmas radiate most strongly and produce critical spectral diagnostics. CHIPS will fill this hole only partially as it is optimized for diffuse emission and has only moderate resolution (R~150). For discrete sources, we have successfully flown a follow-on instrument to the EUVE spectrometer (Aeff ~1 cm2, R ~400), the high-resolution spectrometer J-PEX (Aeff ~3 cm2, R ~3000). In this paper we build on the J-PEX prototype and present a strawman design for an orbiting spectroscopic observatory, APEX, a SMEX-class instrument containing a suite of spectrometers that together achieve both high effective area (>20 cm2) and high spectral resolution (~10000) over the range 100-300 Angstroms. We discuss in depth the optical design, the wavelength coverage, and the effective area.

This work is supported by the Office of Naval Research and NRL, and by NASA Space Astrophysics and Research Analysis grants

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.