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The design and flight performance of the PoGOLite Pathfinder balloon-borne hard X-ray polarimeter

In the 50 years since the advent of X-ray astronomy there have been many scientific advances due to the development of new experimental techniques for detecting and characterising X-rays. Observations of X-ray polarisation have, however, not undergone a similar development. This is a shortcoming sin... Full description

Journal Title: Experimental Astronomy 2016, Vol.41(1), pp.17-41
Main Author: Chauvin, M.
Other Authors: Florén, H.-G. , Jackson, M. , Kamae, T. , Kawano, T. , Kiss, M. , Kole, M. , Mikhalev, V. , Moretti, E. , Olofsson, G. , Rydström, S. , Takahashi, H. , Lind, J. , Strömberg, J.-E. , Welin, O. , Iyudin, A. , Shifrin, D. , Pearce, M.
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 0922-6435 ; E-ISSN: 1572-9508 ; DOI: 10.1007/s10686-015-9474-x
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10686-015-9474-x
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recordid: springer_jour10.1007/s10686-015-9474-x
title: The design and flight performance of the PoGOLite Pathfinder balloon-borne hard X-ray polarimeter
format: Article
creator:
  • Chauvin, M.
  • Florén, H.-G.
  • Jackson, M.
  • Kamae, T.
  • Kawano, T.
  • Kiss, M.
  • Kole, M.
  • Mikhalev, V.
  • Moretti, E.
  • Olofsson, G.
  • Rydström, S.
  • Takahashi, H.
  • Lind, J.
  • Strömberg, J.-E.
  • Welin, O.
  • Iyudin, A.
  • Shifrin, D.
  • Pearce, M.
subjects:
  • X-ray polarimetry
  • Scientific ballooning
  • Crab
ispartof: Experimental Astronomy, 2016, Vol.41(1), pp.17-41
description: In the 50 years since the advent of X-ray astronomy there have been many scientific advances due to the development of new experimental techniques for detecting and characterising X-rays. Observations of X-ray polarisation have, however, not undergone a similar development. This is a shortcoming since a plethora of open questions related to the nature of X-ray sources could be resolved through measurements of the linear polarisation of emitted X-rays. The PoGOLite Pathfinder is a balloon-borne hard X-ray polarimeter operating in the 25-240 keV energy band from a stabilised observation platform. Polarisation is determined using coincident energy deposits in a segmented array of plastic scintillators surrounded by a BGO anticoincidence system and a polyethylene neutron shield. The PoGOLite Pathfinder was launched from the SSC Esrange Space Centre in July 2013. A near-circumpolar flight was achieved with a duration of approximately two weeks. The flight performance of the Pathfinder design is discussed for the three Crab observations conducted. The signal-to-background ratio for the observations is shown to be 0.25 ±0.03 and the Minimum Detectable Polarisation (99 % C.L.) is (28.4 ±2.2) %. A strategy for the continuation of the PoGOLite programme is outlined based on experience gained during the 2013 maiden flight.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0922-6435 ; E-ISSN: 1572-9508 ; DOI: 10.1007/s10686-015-9474-x
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 1572-9508
  • 15729508
  • 0922-6435
  • 09226435
url: Link


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titleThe design and flight performance of the PoGOLite Pathfinder balloon-borne hard X-ray polarimeter
creatorChauvin, M. ; Florén, H.-G. ; Jackson, M. ; Kamae, T. ; Kawano, T. ; Kiss, M. ; Kole, M. ; Mikhalev, V. ; Moretti, E. ; Olofsson, G. ; Rydström, S. ; Takahashi, H. ; Lind, J. ; Strömberg, J.-E. ; Welin, O. ; Iyudin, A. ; Shifrin, D. ; Pearce, M.
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descriptionIn the 50 years since the advent of X-ray astronomy there have been many scientific advances due to the development of new experimental techniques for detecting and characterising X-rays. Observations of X-ray polarisation have, however, not undergone a similar development. This is a shortcoming since a plethora of open questions related to the nature of X-ray sources could be resolved through measurements of the linear polarisation of emitted X-rays. The PoGOLite Pathfinder is a balloon-borne hard X-ray polarimeter operating in the 25-240 keV energy band from a stabilised observation platform. Polarisation is determined using coincident energy deposits in a segmented array of plastic scintillators surrounded by a BGO anticoincidence system and a polyethylene neutron shield. The PoGOLite Pathfinder was launched from the SSC Esrange Space Centre in July 2013. A near-circumpolar flight was achieved with a duration of approximately two weeks. The flight performance of the Pathfinder design is discussed for the three Crab observations conducted. The signal-to-background ratio for the observations is shown to be 0.25 ±0.03 and the Minimum Detectable Polarisation (99 % C.L.) is (28.4 ±2.2) %. A strategy for the continuation of the PoGOLite programme is outlined based on experience gained during the 2013 maiden flight.
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abstractIn the 50 years since the advent of X-ray astronomy there have been many scientific advances due to the development of new experimental techniques for detecting and characterising X-rays. Observations of X-ray polarisation have, however, not undergone a similar development. This is a shortcoming since a plethora of open questions related to the nature of X-ray sources could be resolved through measurements of the linear polarisation of emitted X-rays. The PoGOLite Pathfinder is a balloon-borne hard X-ray polarimeter operating in the 25-240 keV energy band from a stabilised observation platform. Polarisation is determined using coincident energy deposits in a segmented array of plastic scintillators surrounded by a BGO anticoincidence system and a polyethylene neutron shield. The PoGOLite Pathfinder was launched from the SSC Esrange Space Centre in July 2013. A near-circumpolar flight was achieved with a duration of approximately two weeks. The flight performance of the Pathfinder design is discussed for the three Crab observations conducted. The signal-to-background ratio for the observations is shown to be 0.25 ±0.03 and the Minimum Detectable Polarisation (99 % C.L.) is (28.4 ±2.2) %. A strategy for the continuation of the PoGOLite programme is outlined based on experience gained during the 2013 maiden flight.
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