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13 December 2000 Radiation environment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory
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Abstract
The Chandra X-ray Observatory, the x-ray component of NASA's Great Observatories, provides unprecedented subarcsecond imaging, imaging spectrometry, and high-resolution dispersive spectroscopy of cosmic x-ray sources. During the initial phase of operation, some of the focal-plane charge-coupled devices (CCDs) -- namely, the front-illuminated devices -- experienced an unanticipated increase in charge-transfer inefficiency (CTI). Investigation of this anomaly determined the root cause to be radiation damage by weakly penetrating protons, entering the telescope's aperture and scattered off the mirrors into the focal plane. Subsequent changes in operating procedures have slowed the rate of increase of the CTI of the front- illuminated CCDs to acceptable levels. There has been no measurable degradation of the back-illuminated CCDs.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
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