1 Astrophysics, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark2 National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark3 IT-Department, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark4 California Institute of Technology5 University of California at Berkeley6 Columbia University7 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory8 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center9 Sonoma State University10 McGill University11 Stanford University12 ASI Science Data Center13 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory14 California Institute of Technology15 Columbia University16 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center17 McGill University18 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is a NASA Small Explorer mission that will carry the first focusing hard X-ray (6 - 80 keV) telescope to orbit. NuSTAR will offer a factor 50 - 100 sensitivity improvement compared to previous collimated or coded mask imagers that have operated in this energy band. In addition, NuSTAR provides sub-arcminute imaging with good spectral resolution over a 12-arcminute eld of view. After launch, NuSTAR will carry out a two-year primary science mission that focuses on four key programs: studying the evolution of massive black holes through surveys carried out in fields with excellent multiwavelength coverage, understanding the population of compact objects and the nature of the massive black hole in the center of the Milky Way, constraining the explosion dynamics and nucleosynthesis in supernovae, and probing the nature of particle acceleration in relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei. A number of additional observations will be included in the primary mission, and a guest observer program will be proposed for an extended mission to expand the range of scientic targets. The payload consists of two co-aligned depth-graded multilayer coated grazing incidence optics focused onto a solid state CdZnTe pixel detectors. To be launched in early 2012 on a Pegasus rocket into a low-inclination Earth orbit, NuSTAR largely avoids SAA passage, and will therefore have low and stable detector backgrounds. The telescope achieves a 10.14-meter focal length through on-orbit deployment of an extendable mast. An aspect and alignment metrology system enable reconstruction of the absolute aspect and variations in the telescope alignment resulting from mast exure during ground data processing. Data will be publicly available at GSFC's High Energy Archive Research Center (HEASARC) following validation at the science operations center located at Caltech.
Proceedings of Spie, the International Society for Optical Engineering, 2010, Vol 7732
X-rays; Missions; Gamma-rays
Main Research Area:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation : Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 2010