FOXSI Sounding Rocket

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A photograph of the FOXSI team in front of the FOXSI-2 sounding rocket on the launch pad.

The Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager, or FOXSI, is a sounding rocket payload built by UC Berkeley and led by Säm Krucker to test high energy grazing-incidence focusing optics paired with solid-state pixelated detectors to observe the Sun. FOXSI is composed of seven identical Wolter-I telescope modules, as well as Silicon and Cadmium Telluride strip detectors originally developed for the HXT telescope on the Japanese Hitomi mission. The FOXSI payload flew two times, most recently in 2014[1][2] and previously in 2012. Like most sounding rockets, FOXSI flew for approximately 15 minutes per mission and observed the Sun for about 5 minutes while in space. During its first flight, FOXSI successfully imaged a solar microflare in the hard x-ray band for the first time.[3]

FOXSI's third mission, led by Lindsay Glesener of the University of Minnesota, is scheduled for launch in August 2018 from White Sands, New Mexico. This iteration of the payload will include a combination of Silicon and improved Cadmium Telluride detectors,[4] as well as one CMOS soft x-ray detector. Two of the telescope modules will be updated from 7-shells to 10-shells, and the payload will also debut collimator technology to reduce the impact of singly-reflected rays.[5]

A high resolution render of the FOXSI-2 payload.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fox, Karen (November 1, 2015). "NASA-funded FOXSI to Observe X-Rays From Sun". NASA. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  2. ^ Fox, Karen (July 27, 2015). "A Next-Generation X-Ray Telescope Launches". NASA. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
  3. ^ Krucker, S.; Christe, S.; Glesener, L.; Ishikawa, S.; Ramsey, B.; Takahashi, T.; Watanabe, S.; Saito, S.; Gubarev, M. (2014). "First Images from the Focusing Optics X-Ray Solar Imager". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 793: L32. Bibcode:2014ApJ...793L..32K. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/793/2/L32.
  4. ^ Ishikawa, S.; Katsuragawa, M.; Watanabe, S.; Uchida, Y.; Takeda, S.; Takahashi, T.; Saito, S.; Glesener, L.; Buitrago-Casas, J. C. (2016). "Fine-pitch CdTe detector for hard X-ray imaging and spectroscopy of the Sun with the FOXSI rocket experiment". Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. 121 (7): 2016JA022631. arXiv:1606.03887. Bibcode:2016JGRA..121.6009I. doi:10.1002/2016ja022631. ISSN 2169-9402.
  5. ^ Buitrago-Casas, J. C.; Glesener, L.; Christe, S.; Ramsey, B.; Elsner, R.; Courtade, S.; Vievering, J.; Subramania, A.; Krucker, S.; Bale, S. (2017). "Methods for reducing ghost rays on the Wolter-I focusing figures of the FOXSI rocket payload". SPIE. Bibcode:2017SPD....4830504B. doi:10.1117/12.2274675.

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