NICER mounted on the International Space Station

The Neutron star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER) is an NASA experiment placed on the International Space Station (ISS). NICER observe the sky in the X-ary band (0.2-12 keV) with large collective area and fine time resolution. It was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on June 3, 2017, and commenced operations on June 14. The mission was approved for 18 months of operations that was extended in March 2019 and is still operating.

Mission Characteristics

* Lifetime : June 14, 2017 – present (as of Oct 2020)
* Energy Range : 0.2–12 keV
* Special Features : Concentrator optics with high temporaral and moderate spectral resolution.
* Payload :
  • X-ray Timing Instrumen (XTI) consists of 56 concentrator optics, providing a 5 arcmin non-imaging field of view onto a matching set of silicon drift detectors (SSDs).
    • Energy range; 0.2- 12 keV
    • Energy Resolution : 85 eV at 1 keV; 137 eV at 6 keV
    • Effective area : >2000 cm2 at 1.5 keV
    • Time resolution : 300ns
* Science Highlights:
  • Demonstration of Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology (SEXTANT) using pulsar timing to provide navigation
  • Investigate extreme gravity, density and magnetic fields found in neutron stars
  • Measure neutron stars radius and mass with increased accuracy
* Archive : HEASARC hosts the NICER data.
[NICER Science Center ]

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Page authors: Lorella Angelini Jesse Allen
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Last modified: Thursday, 24-Sep-2020 17:21:49 EDT