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26 September 2013 Concept study x-ray testing for NICER's x-ray concentrators
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Abstract
We performed a series of measurements using X-rays to assess the current performance of the Neutron star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER) X-ray concentrators during the mission's concept study stage. NICER will use 56 grazing-incidence X-ray concentrators in the optical system with each module focusing the incoming photons to co-aligned silicon drift detectors with 2 mm apertures. Successful X-ray timing and navigation studies require optimal signal to noise, thus by optimizing high throughput concentrators with a large collecting area we can minimize the PSF and reduce the detector aperture size, reducing background. The performance measurements were conducted in a 600 meter X-ray beamline which collimated photons from a soft X-ray source to an X-ray CCD which was used as the detector. Several engineering test units were used to perform these studies by measuring the effective area, on and off-axis resolution, and to assess the effects of a vibration test on the module's optical performance. We have shown that the concentrators have made significant progress towards exceeding NICER's final goals.
© (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Erin Balsamo, Keith Gendreau, Zaven Arzoumanian, Takashi Okajima, Lalit Jalota, Yang Soong, Peter Serlemitsos, Teruaki Enoto, Bhalvinder Gulati, Steven Kenyon, Devin Hahne, David Fickau, Nicholas Spartana, Steve Lentine, Ceili Burdhimo, Billy Barrios, and Lisa Wu "Concept study x-ray testing for NICER's x-ray concentrators", Proc. SPIE 8861, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VI, 88611M (26 September 2013); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2024108
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