Space Science Reviews

, 214:48 | Cite as

Regolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) Aboard the OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

  • R. A. Masterson
  • M. Chodas
  • L. Bayley
  • B. Allen
  • J. Hong
  • P. Biswas
  • C. McMenamin
  • K. Stout
  • E. Bokhour
  • H. Bralower
  • D. Carte
  • S. Chen
  • M. Jones
  • S. Kissel
  • F. Schmidt
  • M. Smith
  • G. Sondecker
  • L. F. Lim
  • D. S. Lauretta
  • J. E. Grindlay
  • R. P. Binzel
Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. OSIRIS-REx

Abstract

The Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) is the student collaboration experiment proposed and built by an MIT-Harvard team, launched aboard NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. REXIS complements the scientific investigations of other OSIRIS-REx instruments by determining the relative abundances of key elements present on the asteroid’s surface by measuring the X-ray fluorescence spectrum (stimulated by the natural solar X-ray flux) over the range of energies 0.5 to 7 keV. REXIS consists of two components: a main imaging spectrometer with a coded aperture mask and a separate solar X-ray monitor to account for the Sun’s variability. In addition to element abundance ratios (relative to Si) pinpointing the asteroid’s most likely meteorite association, REXIS also maps elemental abundance variability across the asteroid’s surface using the asteroid’s rotation as well as the spacecraft’s orbital motion. Image reconstruction at the highest resolution is facilitated by the coded aperture mask. Through this operation, REXIS will be the first application of X-ray coded aperture imaging to planetary surface mapping, making this student-built instrument a pathfinder toward future planetary exploration. To date, 60 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels have been involved with the REXIS project, with the hands-on experience translating to a dozen Master’s and Ph.D. theses and other student publications.

Keywords

Asteroids Meteorites Spectroscopy OSIRIS-REx 

Acronyms and Abbreviations

ADC

analog to digital converter

CCD

charge-coupled device

CDIO

Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate

CDR

Critical Design Review

CTI

charge transfer inefficiency

CXB

Cosmic X-ray Background

CXEL

candidate X-ray event list

DAM

detector assembly mount

DASS

detector assembly support structure

DE

Detector Electronics

EAPS

Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

EM

Engineering Model

ETU

Engineering Test Unit

FFT

fast Fourier transform

FM

Flight Model

FoV

field of view

FPGA

field programmable gate array

FWHM

full-width at half-maximum

FWMI

full-width maximum intensity

MEB

Main Electronics Board

MLI

multi-layer insulation

nCi

nano-Curies

OBF

optical blocking filter

OSIRIS-Rex

Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer

PDR

Preliminary Design Review

QE

quantum efficiency

REXIS

Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer

SBB

SXM Backpack Board

SDD

silicon drift diode

SDR

System Definition Review

SEB

SXM Electronics Board

SRR

System Requirements Review

SXM

Solar X-ray Monitor

TEC

thermoelectric cooler

TIL

thermal isolation layer

TVAC

thermal-vacuum chamber

UROP

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was conducted under the support of the OSIRIS-REx program through research funds from Goddard Space Flight Center. REXIS would not have been possible without supporting expertise, facilities, and mentorship at MIT Kavli Institute provided by Marshall W. Bautz and at MIT Lincoln Laboratories provided by Kevin Ryu, Keith Warner, Jim Kelly, Joe Orrender, Jeff Mendenhall, Marc Bernstein, and others. Vital expertise, critiques, and advice came through our NASA partners that included James Dailey, Joe Schepis, Dave Petrick, Blair Russell, Mike Choi, Mike Pryzby, Libby Adelman, Mary Walker, Ed Powers, Steve Battel, and Mark Kahan. While this paper details the work through launch and early checkout, we gratefully acknowledge assistance in the final preparation of this manuscript by the most recently arriving REXIS team members Carolyn Thayer, Sormeh Yazdi, Daniel Hoak, and David Guevel.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. Masterson
    • 1
  • M. Chodas
    • 1
  • L. Bayley
    • 1
  • B. Allen
    • 2
  • J. Hong
    • 2
  • P. Biswas
    • 1
  • C. McMenamin
    • 1
  • K. Stout
    • 1
  • E. Bokhour
    • 1
  • H. Bralower
    • 1
  • D. Carte
    • 1
  • S. Chen
    • 1
  • M. Jones
    • 1
  • S. Kissel
    • 3
  • F. Schmidt
    • 1
  • M. Smith
    • 1
  • G. Sondecker
    • 1
  • L. F. Lim
    • 4
  • D. S. Lauretta
    • 5
  • J. E. Grindlay
    • 2
  • R. P. Binzel
    • 6
  1. 1.Space Systems Laboratory, Department of Aeronautics and AstronauticsMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Harvard College ObservatoryCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space ResearchMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  4. 4.Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  5. 5.Lunar and Planetary LaboratoryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  6. 6.Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary SciencesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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