A Caltech Library Service

Application of an EMCCD camera for calibration of hard X-ray telescopes

Vogel, Julia K. and Pivovaroff, Michael J. and Nagarkar, Vivek V. and Kudrolli, Haris and Madsen, Kristin Kruse and Koglin, Jason E. and Hailey, Charles J. and Craig, William W. and Christensen, Finn E. and Brejnholt, Nicolai F. (2012) Application of an EMCCD camera for calibration of hard X-ray telescopes. In: Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray. Proceedings of SPIE. No.8443. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 84432L.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Recent technological innovations make it feasible to construct efficient hard x-ray telescopes for space-based astronomical missions. Focusing optics are capable of improving the sensitivity in the energy range above 10 keV by orders of magnitude compared to previously used instruments. The last decade has seen focusing optics developed for balloon experiments and they are implemented in approved space missions such as the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR). The full characterization of x-ray optics for astrophysical missions, including measurement of the point spread function (PSF) as well as scattering and reflectivity properties of substrate coatings, requires a large area detector with very high spatial resolution and sensitivity, photon counting and energy discriminating capability. Novel back-thinned Electron Multiplying Charge-Coupled Devices (EMCCDs) are suitable detectors for ground-based calibrations if combined with a scintillating material. This optical coupling of the EMCCD chip to a microcolumnar CsI(Tl) scintillator can be achieved via a fiberoptic taper. Not only does this detector system exhibit low noise and high spatial resolution inherent to CCDs, but the EMCCD is also able to handle high frame rates. Additionally, thick CsI(Tl) yields high detection efficiency for x-rays. In this paper, we discuss the advantages of using an EMCCD to calibrate hard x-ray optics. We will illustrate the promising features of this detector solution using examples of data obtained during the ground calibration of the NuSTAR telescopes performed at Columbia University during 2010/2011. Finally, we give an outlook on latest development and optimizations.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Madsen, Kristin Kruse0000-0003-1252-4891
Christensen, Finn E.0000-0001-5679-1946
Additional Information:© 2012 SPIE. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. The support of the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program is gratefully acknowledged. We thank our colleagues at NuSTAR for their support and cooperation and Columbia University for hospitality. We also thank NASA for funding this research under grant number.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC52-07NA27344
Subject Keywords:EMCCD, NuSTAR, hard x-ray mission, x-ray detectors, calibration, scintillator
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:8443
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180109-102252573
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Julia K. Vogel, Michael J. Pivovaroff, Vivek V. Nagarkar, Haris Kudrolli, Kristin Kruse Madsen, Jason E. Koglin, Charles J. Hailey, William W. Craig, Finn E. Christensen, Nicolai F. Brejnholt, "Application of an EMCCD camera for calibration of hard X-ray telescopes", Proc. SPIE 8443, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 84432L (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926386;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84187
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Jan 2018 19:01
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:17

Repository Staff Only: item control page