ASTRO-E was to be the Japan’s fifth X-ray astronomy mission, but was unfortunately lost during launch (10 Feb 2000). Astro-E was developed at the Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) in collaboration with the US and Japanese institutions. Astro-E was to carry, among other instruments, a new type of X-ray spectrometer, the X-ray micro-calorimenter, which provides an unprecendent energy resolution compared to non-dispersive instruments.

The mission was rebuild as ASTRO-E2, renamed Suzaku, that was successfully launched in 2005 and operated for 10 years.

Mission Characteristics

* Lifetime : early 2000 - (XRS has a 2 year lifetime)
* Energy Range : 0.4-700 keV
* Special Features : First X-ray micro-calorimeter in space
* Payload :
  • Five nested conical thin-foil grazing incidence telescopes (XRT), with a spacial resolution of < 1.5´. Four telescopes are gold-coated (XRT-I) and one is platinum-coated (XRT-S). At the focus of each telescope there is one of the following detectors :

    • X-ray Spectrometer (XRS; 0.4-10 keV; one unit)
      It is X-ray micro-calorimeter composite of 32 pixels at the foci of the XRT-S.
      Energy resolution ~12 eV at 6 keV. FOV 2´ X 4´

    • X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (XIS; 0.4-10 keV; four units) Each units is a 1024 X 1024 pixel CCD detector at the foci of one XRT-I.
      FOV 19´ X 19´, eff. area per each 300 cm2 @ 1 keV, energy resolution 130 eV (E/6keV)1/2

  • Hard X-ray Detector (HXD; 10-700 keV)
    GSO Phoswich counters (> 50 keV) & silicon PIN diodes (< 50 keV)
    FOV 0.8° @60keV and 2.8° @500keV
    eff. area (<40 keV) 230 cm2 (<40 keV) , 330cm 2 (> 40 keV) energy resolution 3 keV @ 10 keV, 9% @ 662 keV

[Suzaku/Astro-E2 Guest Observer Facility]

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