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Astro-H/SXS Mission

About the Astro-H/SXS:

Science & Technical Requirements

Please also see the Astro-H Timeline and Mission Information.

The Soft X-ray Spectrometer combines a lightweight Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) paired with a X-ray Calorimeter Spectrometer (XCS), providing non-dispersive 7 eV (requirement; 4 eV goal) resolution in the 0.3-10 keV bandpass. The SXS represents a significant advance over all current high-resolution spectrometers, as shown in these two figures:

SXS Effective Area compared to other missions SXS Line resolution power compared to other missions
SXS Effective Area compared to other high-resolution X-ray spectrometers. SXS Line resolution power (defined as resolution*sqrt(area)) compared to other high-resolution missions, plus a typical imaging CCD.

The remaining specifications are set by the science goals as follows:

Astro-H/SXS Science and Performance Requirements
Science Objectives Scientific Measurement Requirements Performance Parameter Perfomance Requirement
Explore how galaxies and clusters of galaxies form and evolve Resolve He-like triplet diagnostic in Ne through Ni Spectral Resolution 7 eV FWHM
Observe 30 elliptical and starburst galaxies, plus 30 clusters, with 100 ksec exposures Mission Length 3 years
Observing Efficiency 45%
Measure lines from K shells of astrophysically abundant elements N-Ni with Fe, Ni L-shell lines in galaxies at low redshift Energy Range 0.4-12 keV
All observations photon-limited in 100 ksec exposures Non X-ray Background 1.5x10-3 ph/s/keV
Probe the environment close to black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs Measure sample of 30 elliptical and 15 starburst galaxies in 100 ksec exposures Effective Area at 1 keV 180 cm^2
Measure broad Fe line features in Galactic Black Hole Candidates Telemetry/ Detector Rate 10 kbs/150 cts/s

Measure changes in spectral line properties on characteristic times (1 ksec) in AGN

Effective Area at 7 keV 210 cm^2
Measure line centroids to determine doppler shifts from outflowing AGN winds to 100 km/s at Fe K, line broadening to 500 km/s Absolute energy determination 2 eV
Investigate the nature of dark matter and energy on large scales in the Universe 30 clusters of galaxies (raster scanned) to 1/3rd virial radius at z<0.05 Field of View

2.8x2.8 arcmin

(6x6 pixels)

Resolve 100 kpc structures in cluster survey at z=0.05 PSF & Pointing 1.7 arcmin HPD
Keep point source centered on specified pixel Pointing Stability 5 arcsec reconstructed

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This file was last modified on Thursday, 13-May-2010 09:24:36 EDT

Science Mission Directorate Universe Division |
Beyond Einstein | Origins

A service of the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/ GSFC

Astro-H/SXS Project Scientist: Dr. Robert Petre
Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman

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