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R.L. Kelley (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)
The Constellation-X Observatory will provide astrophysicists with a major enhancement in high-resolution x-ray imaging spectroscopy. This will be achieved with four separate instruments mounted on the co-aligned fleet of observatories that make up Constellation-X. Each instrument, designated the X-Ray Microcalorimeter Spectrometer (XMS), will utilize a 1000 pixel arrays of microcalorimeters with an energy resolution of better than 4 eV from 0.25 keV to greater than 7 keV. The combined XMS instruments will achieve very high sensitivity from being at the foci of four very large x-ray mirrors to provide an effective area of more than 15,000 cm2 near 1 keV and 6,000 cm2 near 6 keV (the Fe K region), and with 5 arc-sec spatial resolution. Such a system requires cooling to less than 0.1K and a completely cryogen-free system is being envisaged to provide a long mission lifetime (4-10 years) with minimum mass. During the formulation phase of Constellation-X, a number of different technologies are being developed to establish a high technology readiness level by the middle of this decade in order to proceed with implementation of the flight XMS instruments. The expected performance capabilities and experimental realizations of the XMS being considered to help plan the mission, along with the roadmap for developing the technologies, will be presented on behalf of the Constellation-X microcalorimeter development team.
Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.