Diagram of PolarLight in its Cubesat

* Mission Overview

The Polarimeter Light (PolarLight) mission is a technology demonstration instrument on-board a CubeSat named Tongchuan-1 (or Zhaojin 1 (TY 4-02)). It uses a gas pixel detector sensitive to polarized X-ray light. The satellite was launched into a sun synchronous polar orbit on October 28, 2018 and is currently still operating. Ths mission is led by the China Center for Astrophysics at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

* Instrumentation

PolarLight carries a Gas Pixel Detector (GPD) instrument filled with dimethyl ether at approximately 0.8 atmosphere pressure, and sealed with a 100 micron thick beryllium window. The detector has an effective area of 1.4 x 1.4 mm. The detector is mounted on a 6U size Cubesat for supporting electronics, power supply, data recording, and solar panels.

* Science

The GPD instrument has produced some preliminary results from observations of the Crab and Sco X-1 sources.


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Last modified: Thursday, 22-Apr-2021 11:48:26 EDT