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13 June 2006 Soft x-ray imager (SXI) onboard the NeXT satellite
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We give overview and the current status of the development of the Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) onboard the NeXT satellite. SXI is an X-ray CCD camera placed at the focal plane detector of the Soft X-ray Telescopes for Imaging (SXT-I) onboard NeXT. The pixel size and the format of the CCD is 24 x 24μm (IA) and 2048 x 2048 x 2 (IA+FS). Currently, we have been developing two types of CCD as candidates for SXI, in parallel. The one is front illumination type CCD with moderate thickness of the depletion layer (70 ~ 100μm) as a baseline plan. The other one is the goal plan, in which we develop back illumination type CCD with a thick depletion layer (200 ~ 300μm). For the baseline plan, we successfully developed the proto model 'CCD-NeXT1' with the pixel size of 12μm x 12μm and the CCD size of 24mm x 48mm. The depletion layer of the CCD has reached 75 ~ 85μm. The goal plan is realized by introduction of a new type of CCD 'P-channel CCD', which collects holes in stead of electrons in the common 'N-channel CCD'. By processing a test model of P-channel CCD we have confirmed high quantum efficiency above 10 keV with an equivalent depletion layer of 300μm. A back illumination type of P-channel CCD with a depletion layer of 200μm with aluminum coating for optical blocking has been also successfully developed. We have been also developing a thermo-electric cooler (TEC) with the function of the mechanically support of the CCD wafer without standoff insulators, for the purpose of the reduction of thermal input to the CCD through the standoff insulators. We have been considering the sensor housing and the onboard electronics for the CCD clocking, readout and digital processing of the frame date.
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