Space Science Reviews

, Volume 45, Issue 3–4, pp 269–289 | Cite as

All-sky monitors for X-ray astronomy

  • Stephen S. Holt
  • William Priedhorsky


We discuss the rationale for a semi-permanent all-sky X-ray monitor, and investigate a variety of options for its implementation. We conclude that the Space Station offers an excellent opportunity for hosting such a monitor, and that a set of pinhole cameras can be configured to provide an effective and economical monitor system. A baseline of six independent pinhole modules, each of which requires approximately one cubic foot, 30 pounds, 2 watts, and 100 bits per second, can provide full sky coverage with scientifically interesting sensitivities. No other resources or special accommodation (such as detailed alignment registration, time-tagging or on-orbit servicing) would be required. The baseline system can locate bright sources to a few arc min, and can simultaneously measure each of the several hundred sources in the sky brighter than a few thousandths the intensity of the Crab nebula every day for decades.


Space Station Excellent Opportunity Monitor System Baseline System Pinhole Camera 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen S. Holt
    • 1
  • William Priedhorsky
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics, NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltU.S.A.
  2. 2.Earth and Space Sciences DivisionLos Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosU.S.A.

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