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Published December 2013 | Submitted
Journal Article Open

Tiled Array of Pixelated CZT Imaging Detectors for ProtoEXIST2 and MIRAX-HXI


We have assembled a tiled array (220 cm^2) of fine pixel (0.6 mm) imaging CZT detectors for a balloon borne wide-field hard X-ray telescope, ProtoEXIST2. ProtoEXIST2 is a prototype experiment for a next generation hard X-ray imager MIRAX-HXI on board Lattes, a spacecraft from the Agencia Espacial Brasilieira. MIRAX will survey the 5 to 200 keV sky of Galactic bulge, adjoining southern Galactic plane and the extragalactic sky with 6' angular resolution. This survey will open a vast discovery space in timing studies of accretion neutron stars and black holes. The ProtoEXIST2 CZT detector plane consists of 64 of 5 mm thick 2 cm × 2 cm CZT crystals tiled with a minimal gap. MIRAX will consist of 4 such detector planes, each of which will be imaged with its own coded-aperture mask. We present the packaging architecture and assembly procedure of the ProtoEXIST2 detector. On 2012, Oct 10, we conducted a successful high altitude balloon experiment of the ProtoEXIST1 and 2 telescopes, which demonstrates their technology readiness for space application. During the flight both telescopes performed as well as on the ground. We report the results of ground calibration and the initial results for the detector performance in the balloon flight.

Additional Information

© 2013 IEEE. Manuscript received November 30, 2012; revised June 05, 2013 and August 09, 2013; accepted September 15, 2013. Date of publication November 04, 2013; date of current version December 11, 2013. This work was supported by NASA grants NNX09AD96G and NNX11AF35G. The authors thank the Columbia Science Balloon Facility (CSBF) team for their excellent work and support of the balloon flight from scheduling the flight to the recovery of the payload. They also thank W. Cleveland, K. Dietz and D. Huie for their support for the flight, and M. Burke, N. Gehrels, W. R. Cook and F. Harrison for their support in the development and assembly of the P2 detector.

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