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X-ray polarimetry with the Polarization Spectroscopic Telescope Array (PolSTAR)

Krawczynski, Henric S. and Harrison, Fiona A. and Miyasaka, Hiromasa and Madsen, Kristin K. and Grefenstette, Brian W. (2016) X-ray polarimetry with the Polarization Spectroscopic Telescope Array (PolSTAR). Astroparticle Physics, 75 . pp. 8-28. ISSN 0927-6505. doi:10.1016/j.astropartphys.2015.10.009.

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This paper describes the Polarization Spectroscopic Telescope Array (PolSTAR), a mission proposed to NASA’s 2014 Small Explorer (SMEX) announcement of opportunity. PolSTAR measures the linear polarization of 3–50 keV (requirement; goal: 2.5–70 keV) X-rays probing the behavior of matter, radiation and the very fabric of spacetime under the extreme conditions close to the event horizons of black holes, as well as in and around magnetars and neutron stars. The PolSTAR design is based on the technology developed for the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission launched in June 2012. In particular, it uses the same X-ray optics, extendable telescope boom, optical bench, and CdZnTe detectors as NuSTAR. The mission has the sensitivity to measure ∼1% linear polarization fractions for X-ray sources with fluxes down to ∼5 mCrab. This paper describes the PolSTAR design as well as the science drivers and the potential science return.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Harrison, Fiona A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Miyasaka, Hiromasa0000-0002-8074-4186
Madsen, Kristin K.0000-0003-1252-4891
Grefenstette, Brian W.0000-0002-1984-2932
Additional Information:© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Received 4 September 2015, Revised 20 October 2015, Accepted 22 October 2015, Available online 30 October 2015. HK thanks the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences at Washington University for sponsoring the design and fabrication of the X-Calibur prototype polarimeter, and NASA grant #NNX14AD19G for the support of the X-Calibur balloon project. MGB acknowledges NASA grants NNX13AQ82G and NNX13AP08G for support. CD acknowledges STFC support from grant ST/L00075X/1. JCM acknowledges NASA/NSF/TCAN grant NNX14AB46G, NSF/XSEDE/TACC (TGPHY120005), and NASA/Pleiades (SMD-14-5451). AI acknowledges support from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) Veni Fellowship. RF acknowledges support from the University of California Office of the President, and from NSF grant AST-1206097.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/L00075X/1
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)UNSPECIFIED
University of California Office of the PresidentUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:X-ray polarimetry; Astronomical instrumentation; Black holes; Neutron stars; Blazars; General relativity
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Space Radiation Laboratory2016-21
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160225-131216632
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Henric S. Krawczynski, Daniel Stern, Fiona A. Harrison, Fabian F. Kislat, Anna Zajczyk, Matthias Beilicke, Janie Hoormann, Qingzhen Guo, Ryan Endsley, Adam R. Ingram, Hiromasa Miyasaka, Kristin K. Madsen, Kim M. Aaron, Rashied Amini, Matthew G. Baring, Banafsheh Beheshtipour, Arash Bodaghee, Jeffrey Booth, Chester Borden, Markus Böttcher, Finn E. Christensen, Paolo S. Coppi, Ramanath Cowsik, Shane Davis, Jason Dexter, Chris Done, Luis A. Dominguez, Don Ellison, Robin J. English, Andrew C. Fabian, Abe Falcone, Jeffrey A. Favretto, Rodrigo Fernández, Paolo Giommi, Brian W. Grefenstette, Erin Kara, Chung H. Lee, Maxim Lyutikov, Thomas Maccarone, Hironori Matsumoto, Jonathan McKinney, Tatehiro Mihara, Jon M. Miller, Ramesh Narayan, Lorenzo Natalucci, Feryal Özel, Michael J. Pivovaroff, Steven Pravdo, Dimitrios Psaltis, Takashi Okajima, Kenji Toma, William W. Zhang, X-ray polarimetry with the Polarization Spectroscopic Telescope Array (PolSTAR), Astroparticle Physics, Volume 75, 15 February 2016, Pages 8-28, ISSN 0927-6505, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64766
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:25 Feb 2016 22:31
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:35

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