A long-duration balloon payload for hard X-ray and gamma-ray observations of the sun
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We describe a balloon payload designed to study the processes of energy release, particle acceleration, and heating of the active corona, in hard X-ray microflares and normal flares. An array of liquid nitrogen-cooled germanium detectors together with large area phoswich scintillation detectors provide the highest sensitivity (∼500 cm2) and energy resolution (≤0.7 keV) ever achieved for solar hard X-ray (∼15–600 keV) measurements. These detectors were flown in February 1987 from Australia on a long duration RAdiation COntrolled balloON (RACOON) flight (LDBF) which provided 12 days of observations before cutdown in Brazil. The payload includes solar cells for power, pointing and navigation sensors, a microprocessor controlled data system with VCR tape storage, and transmitters for GOES and ARGOS spacecraft. This successful flight illustrates the potential of LDBF's for solar flare studies.
KeywordsSolar Cell Flare Germanium Energy Release Energy Resolution
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