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The silicon drift detector for the IXO high-time resolution spectrometer

The silicon drift detector for the IXO high-time resolution spectrometer

Publication date: 20 July 2010

Authors: Lechner, P., et al.

Journal: Proc. SPIE
Volume: 7742
Year: 2010

Copyright: SPIE

The High Time Resolution Spectrometer (HTRS) is one of six scientific payload instruments of the International X-ray Observatory (IXO). HTRS is dedicated to the physics of matter at extreme density and gravity and will observe the X-rays generated in the inner accretion flows around the most compact massive objects, i.e. black holes and neutron stars. The study of their timing signature and in addition the simultaneous spectroscopy of the gravitationally shifted and broadened iron line allows for probing general relativity in the strong field regime and understanding the inner structure of neutron stars. As the sources to be observed by HTRS are the brightest in the X-ray sky and the studies require good photon statistics the instrument design is driven by the capability to operate at extremely high count rates. The HTRS instrument is based on a monolithic array of Silicon Drift Detectors (SDDs) with 31 cells in a circular envelope and a sensitive volume of 4.5 cm2 × 450 µm. The SDD principle uses fast signal charge collection on an integrated amplifier by a focusing internal electrical field. It combines a large sensitive area and a small capacitance, thus facilitating good energy resolution and high count rate capability. The HTRS is specified to provide energy spectra with a resolution of 150 eV (FWHM at 6 keV) at high time resolution of 10 µsec and with high count rate capability up to a goal of 2106 counts per second, corresponding to a 12 Crab equivalent source. As the HTRS is a non-imaging instrument and will target only point sources it is placed on axis but out of focus so that the spot is spread over the array of 31 SDD cells. The SDD array is logically organized in four independent 'quadrants', a dedicated 8-channel quadrant readout chip is in development.

This paper was presented at the SPIE conference on Astronomical Instrumentation 2010 conference.

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