Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories are building an ultrasoft X-ray monitor experiment. This experiment, called ALEXIS (Array of Low-Energy X-Ray Imaging Sensors), consists of six compact normal-incidence telescopes. ALEXIS will operate in the range 70 to 110 eV. The ultrasoft X-ray/EUV band is nearly uncharted territory for astrophysics. ALEXIS, with its wide fields-of-view and well-defined wavelength bands, will complement the upcoming NASA Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer and ROSAT EUV Wide Field Camera, which are sensitive broad-band survey experiments. The program objectives of ALEXIS are to: (1) demonstrate the feasibility of a wide field-of-view, normal incidence ultrasoft X-ray telescope system, and (2) to determine ultrasoft X-ray backgrounds in the space environment. As a dividend, ALEXIS will pursue the following scientific objectives: (1) to map the diffuse background, with unprecedented angular resolution, in several emission-line bands, (2) to perform a narrow-band survey of point sources, (3) to search for transient phenomena in the ultrasoft X-ray band, and (4) to provide synoptic monitoring of variable ultrasoft X-ray sources such as cataclysmic variables and flare stars. ALEXIS is designed to be flown on a small autonomous payload carrier (a minisat) that could be launched from any expendable launch vehicle. The experiment weighs 100 pounds, draws 40 watts, and produces 10 kbps of data. It can be flown in any low earth orbit. Onboard data storage allows operation and tracking from a single ground station at Los Alamos.
Presented at the Berkeley Colloquium on Extreme Ultraviolet Astronomy
- Pub Date:
- Image Processing;
- X Ray Imagery;
- Angular Resolution;
- X Ray Apparatus;
- Instrumentation and Photography