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Calibration of the NuSTAR High-energy Focusing X-ray Telescope

Madsen, Kristin K. and Harrison, Fiona A. and Markwardt, Craig B. and An, Hongjun and Grefenstette, Brian W. and Bachetti, Matteo and Miyasaka, Hiromasa and Kitaguchi, Takao and Bhalerao, Varun and Boggs, Steve E. and Christensen, Finn E. and Craig, William W. and Forster, Karl and Fuerst, Felix and Hailey, Charles J. and Perri, Matteo and Puccetti, Simonetta and Rana, Vikram and Stern, Daniel and Walton, Dominic J. and Westergaard, Niels Jørgen and Zhang, William W. (2015) Calibration of the NuSTAR High-energy Focusing X-ray Telescope. Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 220 (1). Art. No. 8. ISSN 0067-0049. doi:10.1088/0067-0049/220/1/8.

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We present the calibration of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) X-ray satellite. We used the Crab as the primary effective area calibrator and constructed a piece-wise linear spline function to modify the vignetting response. The achieved residuals for all off-axis angles and energies, compared to the assumed spectrum, are typically better than ±2% up to 40 keV and 5%–10% above due to limited counting statistics. An empirical adjustment to the theoretical two-dimensional point-spread function (PSF) was found using several strong point sources, and no increase of the PSF half-power diameter has been observed since the beginning of the mission. We report on the detector gain calibration, good to 60 eV for all grades, and discuss the timing capabilities of the observatory, which has an absolute timing of ±3 ms. Finally, we present cross-calibration results from two campaigns between all the major concurrent X-ray observatories (Chandra, Swift, Suzaku, and XMM-Newton), conducted in 2012 and 2013 on the sources 3C 273 and PKS 2155-304, and show that the differences in measured flux is within ~10% for all instruments with respect to NuSTAR.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Madsen, Kristin K.0000-0003-1252-4891
Harrison, Fiona A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Markwardt, Craig B.0000-0001-9803-3879
Grefenstette, Brian W.0000-0002-1984-2932
Bachetti, Matteo0000-0002-4576-9337
Miyasaka, Hiromasa0000-0002-8074-4186
Bhalerao, Varun0000-0002-6112-7609
Boggs, Steve E.0000-0001-9567-4224
Christensen, Finn E.0000-0001-5679-1946
Forster, Karl0000-0001-5800-5531
Fuerst, Felix0000-0003-0388-0560
Puccetti, Simonetta0000-0002-2734-7835
Rana, Vikram0000-0003-1703-8796
Stern, Daniel0000-0003-2686-9241
Walton, Dominic J.0000-0001-5819-3552
Zhang, William W.0000-0002-1426-9698
Additional Information:© 2015 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 April 7; accepted 2015 August 4; published 2015 September 1. We would like to thank the referee for helpful comments and suggestions which helped improve the paper. This work was supported under NASA Contract No. NNG08FD60C, and made use of data from the NuSTAR mission, a project led by the California Institute of Technology, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We thank the NuSTAR Operations, Software and Calibration teams for support with the execution and analysis of these observations. This research has made use of the NuSTAR Data Analysis Software (NuSTARDAS) jointly developed by the ASI Science Data Center (ASDC, Italy) and the California Institute of Technology (USA). Facilities: CXO, NuSTAR, Swift, Suzaku, and XMM.
Group:NuSTAR, Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:instrumentation: detectors – space vehicles: instruments – telescopes
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Space Radiation Laboratory2015-31
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151202-143838895
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:62555
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Dec 2015 23:08
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:03

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