The Lightweight Asymmetry and Magnetism Probe (LAMP) is a micro-satellite mission concept dedicated for astronomical X-ray polarimetry and is currently under early phase study. It consists of segmented paraboloidal multilayer mirrors with a collecting area of about 1300 cm2 to reflect and focus 250 eV X-rays, which will be detected by position sensitive detectors at the focal plane. The primary targets of LAMP include the thermal emission from the surface of pulsars and synchrotron emission produced by relativistic jets in blazars. With the expected sensitivity, it will allow us to detect polarization or place a tight upper limit for about 10 pulsars and 20 blazars. In addition to measuring magnetic structures in these objects, LAMP will also enable us to discover bare quark stars if they exist, whose thermal emission is expected to be zero polarized, while the thermal emission from neutron stars is believed to be highly polarized due to plasma polarization and the quantum electrodynamics (QED) effect. Here we present an overview of the mission concept, its science objectives and simulated observational results.
The X-ray Timing and Polarization (XTP) is a mission concept for a future space borne X-ray observatory and is currently selected for early phase study. We present a new design of X-ray polarimeter based on the time projection gas chamber. The polarimeter, placed above the focal plane, has an additional rear window that allows hard X-rays to penetrate (a transmission of nearly 80% at 6 keV) through it and reach the detector on the focal plane. Such a design is to compensate the low detection efficiency of gas detectors, at a low cost of sensitivity, and can maximize the science return of multilayer hard X-ray telescopes without the risk of moving focal plane instruments. The sensitivity in terms of minimum detectable polarization, based on current instrument configuration, is expected to be 3% for a 1mCrab source given an observing time of 105 s. We present preliminary test results, including photoelectron tracks and modulation curves, using a test chamber and polarized X-ray sources in the lab.
Einstein Probe (EP) is a proposed small scientific satellite dedicated to time-domain astrophysics working in the soft X-ray band. It will discover transients and monitor variable objects in 0.5-4 keV, for which it will employ a very large instantaneous field-of-view (60° × 60°), along with moderate spatial resolution (FWHM ∼ 5 arcmin). Its wide-field imaging capability will be achieved by using established technology in novel lobster-eye optics. In this paper, we present Monte-Carlo simulations for the focusing capabilities of EP’s Wide-field X-ray Telescope (WXT). The simulations are performed using Geant4 with an X-ray tracer which was developed by cosine (http://cosine.nl/) to trace X-rays. Our work is the first step toward building a comprehensive model with which the design of the X-ray optics and the ultimate sensitivity of the instrument can be optimized by simulating the X-ray tracing and radiation environment of the system, including the focal plane detector and the shielding at the same time.