X-ray Quantum Calorimeter (XQC)


Nike-Black Brant two stage rocket launches XQC at White Sands The X-ray Quantum Calorimeter rocket sounding experiment (XQC) was an instrument flown on a series of rocket flights to provide high resolution spectra of soft X-ray diffuse background measurements and to test the instrumentation to be flown in future X-ray missions.

The instrument was flown on six different rocket flights between Dec 1995 and March 2013, however only the last four flights gave good spectra. The flights reached an altitude of 220 km and provided few minutes of observation time per flight.

Two different XQC configurations were flown. The first with a 2x18 pixel array flown during the 1990s. An improved configuartion of 6x6 pixel array flown in the latest flights.

Mission Characteristics

* Rocket Flights :
Date Target (l,b) Flight No
4 Dec 1995 27.132
3 Jun 1996 27.141
28 Mar 1999 90.0, 60.0 27.041
1 May 2008 90.0, 60.0 36.223
6 Nov 2011165.0, -5.0 36.264
11 Mar 2013165.0, -5.0 36.294

* Energy Range : optimized in the range 0.1–1.1 keV
* Special Features : sounding rocket flights
* Payload : The X-ray Quantum Calorimeter :
  • Early configuartion : 2x18 array of 0.5 x 2.0 mm pixels
  • Late configuartion : 6x6 array of 2.0 x 2.0 mm pixels
  • Operating temperature: 50 mk (late flights) and 60 mk (early flights)
  • Total collecting area: 1.44 cm2 (late flights) and 0.36 cm2 (early flights)
  • Non-imaging Field of view about 1 sr
  • Energy resolution below < 1keV : 6eV (late flights) and 9eV (early flights)
* Science Highlights: High resolution spectra of the diffuse X-ray background
* Archive: Spectra and response files from four rocket flights.

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Last modified: Wednesday, 17-Jun-2020 16:59:48 EDT