Applications of Streamlined X-Ray Technology

New x-ray imagers for Class-D space missions

Part 3 of 3


X-Ray and optical images from NASA
Year of Light celebration image. Mix of x-ray and optical images for enhancing visualization. Credit NASA

The new space mission capable sCMOS x-ray detector will primarily benefit polarimetry and high resolution imaging for small scale, Class-D NASA research applications. This enhanced imager has the potential to further improve resolution to below the 0.5 arcsec obtained with Chandra, and decrease the expensive and large focal length requirements associated with larger pixel sensors. The larger array size and smaller pixels of the new sCMOS x-ray camera could also increase the chances of breakthroughs in observing quasar jets, gravitational lenses, and supernova remnants. Relying on a commercial solution will ensure reliable access to a low cost detector with a fast turn-around, increasing mission flexibility.

Beyond NASA

Experiment chamber at NLS-Il
Close-up of the experiment chamber at NSLS-Il before testing with the sCMOS X-Ray camera

Beyond astronomy applications for NASA, this advancement of the existing terrestrial technology has potential for improving laboratory soft x-ray experiments in areas such as absorption spectroscopy and high resolution imaging. This includes improved measurements at facilities with bench-top soft x-ray sources and synchrotron facilities. Development for these areas will feed into the design for NASA applications, resulting in faster evolution of functional improvements for all researchers to benefit from.

Thank you very much for your interest in new, more affordable space-ready x-ray detectors. If you wish to know more about the current x-ray detection technologies being adapted to space missions, see below.

Experiment chamber of the Coherent Soft X-Ray Scattering (CSX) beamline
The experiment chamber of the Coherent Soft X-ray Scattering (CSX) beamline at NSLS-II before pump down and testing with the sCMOS camera.

Learn more about the existing sCMOS x-ray detector technology and how it is being put to good use for soft x-ray science in labs around the world.