Development of the HEFT and NuSTAR focusing telescopes
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- Harrison, F.A., Christensen, F.E., Craig, W. et al. Exp Astron (2005) 20: 131. doi:10.1007/s10686-006-9072-z
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Hard X-ray/soft gamma-ray astrophysics is on the verge of a major advance with the practical realization of technologies capable of efficiently focusing X-rays above 10 keV. Hard X-ray focusing telescopes can achieve orders of magnitude improvements in sensitivity compared to the instruments based on coded apertures and collimated detectors that have traditionally been employed in this energy band. Compact focal planes enable high-performance detectors with good spectral resolution to be employed in efficient, low-background configurations. We have developed multilayer coated grazing incidence optics and solid state Cadmium Zinc Telluride focal plane systems for the High Energy Focusing Telescope (HEFT) balloon-borne experiment, and for the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) Small Explorer satellite. In this paper we describe the technologies, telescope designs, and performance of both experiments.