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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

Modulated X-ray Sources for Cal X-1

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

The Cal X-1 concept addresses the need for an absolutely calibration standards for orbiting X-ray observatories.     Disagreement between, for instance, Chandra and Newton-XMM on the temperatures of clusters of galaxies demonstrates that the substantial ground calibration efforts have been incomplete.     The Cal X-1 concept is to launch an absolutely calibrated X-ray source on a small satellite, and use it to perform an in-orbit calibration of a small X-ray telescope.  The calibration can be transferred to other observatories or used to establish the absolute brightness of time stationary sources.     Radioactive sources provide the best path to providing the absolutely calibrated sources.    This project aims to supplement the radioactive sources with stable and precisely controlled electron impact X-ray sources, providing calibration at additional energies.    We will develop stable high voltage power supplies suitable for Modulated X-ray Sources, and consistent with the resources and volume available in a CubeSat bus.    We will characterize the stability of the resulting MXS sources as a function of supply and source conditions.

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

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