Contribution to the Background Rate of a Satellite X-Ray Detector by Spallation Products in a Caesium Iodide Crystal
The energy spectra observed in a CsI crystal in the 20 keV-2 MeV range, due to the decay of radioactive isotopes produced in the crystal by bombardment with 155 MeV protons, are presented as a function of time after irradiation. It is shown that the large number of decay products produced by spallation can account for these spectra and that these spectra are in quantitative agreement with the predictions of a semi-empirical formula due to Rudstam, which gives the numbers of different isotopes produced. This formula is used to predict the spallation that would occur in such a crystal on board a satellite due to cosmic rays and passages through the South Atlantic Anomaly. Inspection shows that the spallation produced in the latter case is well approximated by that at 155 MeV. Hence the experimental results are used to explain previously observed background rates and to predict the background rates that would occur in the U.K.5 X-ray telescope of Imperial College. Using the Rudstam formula an estimate of cosmic ray induced background is also made. The relative importance of activity resulting from neutron interactions (atmospheric albedo and spacecraft secondaries) is considered. It is suggested that the Rudstam formula provides a general method of predicting induced radio-activity in satellite materials and that observed breaks in the diffuse cosmic X-ray spectrum could be due to inadequate allowance for this source of background.