Detector Calibration for the Micro-X Sounding Rocket X-ray Telescope


Micro-X is a sounding rocket-borne X-ray telescope that uses a transition edge sensor microcalorimeter array to provide high-energy-resolution spectroscopy. Micro-X is a versatile instrument with plans to observe the Puppis A supernova remnant during its first flight, as well as future observations of the Milky Way to search for X-ray signals from decaying dark matter. Commissioning and functionality testing are complete, and the thermal performance of the system has been validated. We are currently evaluating the detector performance in the flight cryostat with the flight multiplexing electronics. Operating in this setup has allowed us to characterize sources of detector and readout noise, as well as to implement mitigation techniques to improve performance in anticipation of the upcoming flight. We present an overview of important noise considerations in addition to an update on latest detector performance.

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This work was supported by a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship. The Micro-X project is conducted under NASA Grant NNX10AE25G.

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Correspondence to D. C. Goldfinger.

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Goldfinger, D.C., Adams, J.S., Baker, R. et al. Detector Calibration for the Micro-X Sounding Rocket X-ray Telescope. J Low Temp Phys 193, 984–990 (2018).

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  • Sounding rocket
  • Transition edge sensors
  • X-ray
  • Microcalorimeter