In high energy solar astrophysics, imaging hard X-rays by direct focusing offers higher dynamic range and greater sensitivity compared to past techniques that used indirect imaging. The Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI) is a sounding rocket payload which uses seven sets of nested Wolter-I figured mirrors that, together with seven high-sensitive semiconductor detectors, observes the Sun in hard X-rays by direct focusing. The FOXSI rocket has successfully flown twice and is funded to fly a third time in summer 2018.The Wolter-I geometry consists of two consecutive mirrors, one paraboloid, and one hyperboloid, that reflect photons at grazing angles. Correctly focused X-rays reflect twice, once per mirror segment. For extended sources, like the Sun, off-axis photons at certain incident angles can reflect on only one mirror and still reach the focal plane, generating a pattern of single-bounce photons, or ‘ghost rays’ that can limit the sensitivity of the observation of focused X-rays. Understanding and cutting down the ghost rays on the FOXSI optics will maximize the instrument’s sensitivity of the solar faintest sources for future flights. We present an analysis of the FOXSI ghost rays based on ray-tracing simulations, as well as the effectiveness of different physical strategies to reduce them.
AAS/Solar Physics Division Abstracts #48
- Pub Date:
- August 2017