An all-sky camera battery for x-ray astronomy
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The increasing number of interesting variable X-ray sources asks for an instrument for continuously monitoring the brightness of the most important X-ray sources over the whole sky. We describe a system consisting of a set of identical large position-sensitive detectors, mounted on the sides of a polyhedral satellite. Each counter is illuminated through a large diaphragm, with binary shadow characteristics. By holographic methods the X-ray image of the observed part of the sky could be derived from the illumination of each detector by multiplex analysing methods. The satellite should have fairly coarse (half a degree accuracy) three-axial stabilization, and an on-board computersteered data accumulation system.
A relation is derived between the number of transparent holes in the diaphragm, the total count rate, and the flux of the faintest observable source. It appears that for a diaphragm with a few hundred transparent holes (detector geometrical area ≈103 cm2) an integration time of approximately 6 min is needed in order that sources with a count rate of 0.01 cm−2 s−1 should still be observable with a confidence limit of 99%.
KeywordsCount Rate Data Accumulation Accumulation System Geometrical Area Degree Accuracy
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