The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission is planned to be launched in April 2021 into an equatorial orbit at 540 km altitude with an initial two year mission span. The X-ray polarization detectors are to be provided by the Italian Space Agency (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana; ASI) with grazing incidence optics from NASA/MSFC and the core spacecraft bus from Ball Aerospace. Launch is intended to be aboard a Pegasus XL “winged rocket” suitable for small payload missions.
Observations will consist of pointed observations at known targets for multiple (but not necessarily consecutive) orbits, requiring precise and stable pointing. The IXPE mission will by orders of magnitude on previous heritage polarimetry measurements by OSO-8: recent polarimetry with Polar focused only on gamma-ray bursts while PolarLight had a limited suite of targets.
Mission CharacteristicsLifetime : April 2021–2023 (planned)
Energy Range : 2–8 keV
Special Features : collaborating instruments from gamma-ray to optical wavelengths to rapidly detect and localize gamma-ray burst sources
The elements of IXPE are all heritage components: the MMU is based directly on comparable pieces in the ART-XC on SRG, the deployable boom is similar (though shorter) than that on NuSTAR, and the spacecraft itself is based on the BCP-100 flight-proven architecture. The DU gas pixel detectors are proven technologies with 15 years of design and testing.Science Goals:
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Last modified: Thursday, 24-Sep-2020 17:21:49 EDT