HXMT - Insight


Artistic impression of HXMT


* Mission Overview

The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), also known as Insight, is a Chinese X-ray observatory launched on 15 June, 2017 aboard a Long March 4B rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The mission provides high resolution imagery across a wide spectrum of X-ray energies.

* Instrumentation

Insight is equipped with three X-ray instruments, the Low Energy (LE), Medium Energy (ME), and High Energy (HE) X-ray Telescopes.

The LE contains three detector boxes with Swept Charge Devices (SCD) which work in a continuous read-out mode, in contrast to more traditional CCD detectors with fixed exposures times, giving it greater time resolution. The three boxes are set at 120 degrees apart from each other, so modulation of the signals from each can reconstruct image information through demodulation. The LE instrument has an energy resolution of 140 eV at 5.9 keV, and 0.98 ms temporal resolution. LE is sensitive to 0.7–15 keV with a total detector area of 384 cm2.

The ME uses 1728 Silicon-PIN diodes for detecting X-rays in the 5-30 keV range with a total active area of 952 cm2. The instrument is divided into three detector groups: the first has a 1° x 4° FOV, a second with 4° x 4° FOV for background measurement, and a third fully blocked module for assessing dark current noise contributions to any detected signal.

The HE consists of two concentric rings of 18 total NaI/CsI phosphor sandwich (phoswich) scintillation detectors with collimators for 1.41° x 5.71° FOV in different orientations (save for two detectors, with wider fields for background monitoring, and one with a tantalum shield for monitoring dark current background). The HE instruments can perform simultaneous spectral, timing, and imaging operations with a total active area of 5,100 cm2.

* Science

Insight is scanning the galactic plane to monitor known variable sources and detect new transient sources. It is also studying the dynamics and emission mechanisms in strong gravitational and magnetic fields in X-ray binary systems.


[HXMT at IHEP (China)] [Insight–HMXT] [Publications]

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Last modified: Thursday, 24-Sep-2020 17:21:49 EDT