The joint JAXA/NASA ASTRO-H mission is the sixth in a series of highly successful X-ray missions initiated
by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS). ASTRO-H will investigate the physics of the
high-energy universe by performing high-resolution, high-throughput spectroscopy with moderate angular
resolution. ASTRO-H covers very wide energy range from 0.3 keV to 600 keV. ASTRO-H allows a combination
of wide band X-ray spectroscopy (5-80 keV) provided by multilayer coating, focusing hard X-ray
mirrors and hard X-ray imaging detectors, and high energy-resolution soft X-ray spectroscopy (0.3-12 keV)
provided by thin-foil X-ray optics and a micro-calorimeter array. The mission will also carry an X-ray CCD
camera as a focal plane detector for a soft X-ray telescope (0.4-12 keV) and a non-focusing soft gamma-ray
detector (40-600 keV) . The micro-calorimeter system is developed by an international collaboration led
by ISAS/JAXA and NASA. The simultaneous broad bandpass, coupled with high spectral resolution of
ΔE ~7 eV provided by the micro-calorimeter will enable a wide variety of important science themes to be
Spatially resolved X-ray spectroscopy with high spectral resolution allows the study of astrophysical processes in
extended sources with unprecedented sensitivity. This includes the measurement of abundances, temperatures, densities,
ionisation stages as well as turbulence and velocity structures in these sources. An X-ray calorimeter is planned for the
Russian mission Spektr Röntgen-Gamma (SRG), to be launched in 2011. During the first half year (pointed phase) it will
study the dynamics and composition of of the hot gas in massive clusters of galaxies and in supernova remnants (SNR).
During the survey phase it will produce the first all sky maps of line-rich spectra of the interstellar medium (ISM).
Spectral analysis will be feasible for typically every 5° x 5° region on the sky. Considering the very short time-scale for
the development of this instrument it consists of a combination of well developed systems. For the optics an extra
eROSITA mirror, also part of the Spektr-RG payload, will be used. The detector will be based on spare parts of the
detector flown on Suzaku combined with a rebuild of the electronics and the cooler will be based on the design for the
Japanese mission NeXT. In this paper we will present the science and give an overview of the instrument.
The Constellation-X Reflection Grating Spectrometer (RGS) is designed to provide high-throughput, high-resolution spectra in the long wavelength band of 6 to 50 angstrom. In the nominal design an array of reflection gratings is mounted at the exit of the Spectroscopy X-ray Telescope (SXT) mirror module. The gratings intercept and disperse light to a designated array of CCD detectors. To achieve the throughput (Aeff > 1000 cm2 below 0.6 keV) and resolution (Δλ/λ > 300 below 0.6 keV) requirements for the instrument we are investigating two possible grating designs. The first design uses in-plane gratings in a classical configuration that is very similar to the XMM-Newton RGS. The second design uses off-plane gratings in a conical configuration. The off-plane design has the advantage of providing higher reflectivity and potentially, a higher spectral resolution than the in-plane configuration. In our presentation we will describe the performance requirements and the current status of the technology development.
After the design of the calorimeter array for the high-resolution x-ray spectrometer (XRS) on the original Astro-E was frozen, new fabrication techniques became available and our understanding of these devices continually increased. We are now able to complete the optimization of this technology and, potentially, to increase the capability of new XRS instrument for Astro-E2, our on-going sounding recket experiments, and possible further applications. The most significant improvement comes from greatly reducing the excess noise of the ion-implanted thermistors by increasing the thickness of the implanted region.
XMM-Newton was launched in December 1999 and science operations started in March 2000. Following two years of very successful operations, a report on the instrument performance and a selection of exciting new results are presented. Behind two of the three telescopes of XMM-Newton Reflection Grating Spectrometers (RGS) are placed. Each spectrometer consists of an array of reflection gratings and a set of back illuminated CCDs. They cover the wavelength band between 6 and 38 Angstromwith a resolution varying between 100 and 600 (E/DE) and a maximum effective area of 140 cm2 for the two spectrometers combined. The selected wavelength band covers the K-shell transitions of C, N, O, Ne, Mg and Si as well as the L- and M-shell transitions of Fe. After a short introduction to the instrument design, the in-orbit performance is given. This includes the line spread function, the wavelength scale and the effective area including their stability during the more than 2 years of operations. Following this a number of key scientific results are briefly addressed, illustrating the power of the RGS instrument in combination with the other instruments on-board of XMM-Newton as well as the wealth of information which is obtained as the RGS instruments operate continuously.
The activities during the instrument calibrations are summarized and first data are presented. The main instrument features, the line-spread function and the effective area, are discussed and the status of the in-flight calibrations is summarized.
The ESA X-ray Multi Mirror mission, XMM-Newton, carries two identical Reflection Grating Spectrometers behind two of its three nested sets of Wolter I type mirrors. The instrument allows high-resolution (E/(Delta) E equals 100 to 500) measurements in the soft X-ray range (6 to 38 A or 2.1 to 0.3 keV) with a maximum effective area of about 150 cm2 at 15 A. The satellite was successfully launched on December 10, 1999, from Guyana Space Center. Following the launch the instrument commissioning was started early in 2000. First results for the Reflection Grating Spectrometers are presented concentrating on instrumental parameters such as resolution, instrument background and CCD performance. The instrument performance is illustrated by first results from HR 1099, a non-eclipsing RS CVn binary.
The Reflection Grating Spectrometer (RGS) aboard XMM is a large collecting area, dispersive soft x-ray spectrometer providing high resolution and a bandpass of 5-35 angstrom. We have built and characterized the two, nearly identical, flight model reflection grating arrays for the RGS instrument. Precision alignment and assembly of 182 grating elements into each array was performed at Columbia Astrophysics/Nevis Laboratory, and end-to-end X-ray calibration and testing were performed at the MPE-Panter facility. Preliminary results from the calibration are summarized, and reconciliation of those results with baseline optical design, simulations and error budgets are discussed.
The reflection grating spectrometer (RGS) on-board the x-ray multi-mirror (XMM) mission incorporates an array of reflection gratings oriented at grazing incidence in the x- ray optical path immediately behind a grazing incidence telescope. Dispersed light is imaged on a strip of CCD- detectors slightly offset from the telescope focal plane. The grating array picks off roughly half the light emanating from the telescope; the other half passes undeflected through the array where it is imaged by the European photon imaging camera (EPIC) experiment. XMM carries two such identical units, plus a third telescope with an EPIC detector, but no RGS. The basic elements of the RGA include: 202 identical reflection gratings, a set of precision rails with bosses that determine the position and alignment of each grating, a monolithic beryllium integrating structure on which the rails are mounted, and a set of three, kinematic support mounts which fix the array to the telescope. In this paper, we review our progress on the fabrication and testing of the RGA hardware, with particular attention to the components comprising the engineering qualification model, a flight-representative prototype which will be completely assembled in September of this year.