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The design and flight performance of the PoGOLite Pathfinder balloon-borne hard X-ray polarimeter
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics, Particle and Astroparticle Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1999-2161
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics, Particle and Astroparticle Physics.
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2016 (English)In: Experimental astronomy (Print), ISSN 0922-6435, E-ISSN 1572-9508, Vol. 41, no 1, 17-41 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the 50 years since the advent of X-ray astronomy there have been many scientific advances due to the development of new experimental techniques for detecting and characterising X-rays. Observations of X-ray polarisation have, however, not undergone a similar development. This is a shortcoming since a plethora of open questions related to the nature of X-ray sources could be resolved through measurements of the linear polarisation of emitted X-rays. The PoGOLite Pathfinder is a balloon-borne hard X-ray polarimeter operating in the 25-240 keV energy band from a stabilised observation platform. Polarisation is determined using coincident energy deposits in a segmented array of plastic scintillators surrounded by a BGO anticoincidence system and a polyethylene neutron shield. The PoGOLite Pathfinder was launched from the SSC Esrange Space Centre in July 2013. A near-circumpolar flight was achieved with a duration of approximately two weeks. The flight performance of the Pathfinder design is discussed for the three Crab observations conducted. The signal-to-background ratio for the observations is shown to be 0.25 ±0.03 and the Minimum Detectable Polarisation (99 % C.L.) is (28.4 ±2.2) %. A strategy for the continuation of the PoGOLite programme is outlined based on experience gained during the 2013 maiden flight.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 41, no 1, 17-41 p.
Keyword [en]
Crab, Scientific ballooning, X-ray polarimetry
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-175006DOI: 10.1007/s10686-015-9474-xISI: 000369518700002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84957436141OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-175006DiVA: diva2:875527
Funder
Swedish National Space BoardKnut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationSwedish Research CouncilGöran Gustafsson Foundation for promotion of scientific research at Uppala University and Royal Institute of Technology
Note

QC 20160304

Available from: 2015-12-01 Created: 2015-10-09 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Chauvin, MaximeKiss, MózsiMikhalev, VictorPearce, Mark

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