HEXIT-SAT: a mission concept for X-ray grazing incidence telescopes from 0.5 to 70 keV


While the energy density of the Cosmic X-ray Background (CXB) provides a statistical estimate of the super massive black hole (SMBH) growth and mass density in the Universe, the lack, so far, of focusing instrument in the 20-60 keV (where the CXB energy density peaks), frustrates our effort to obtain a comprehensive picture of the SMBH evolutionary properties. HEXIT-SAT (High Energy X-ray Imaging Telescope SATellite) is a mission concept capable of exploring the hard X-ray sky with focusing/imaging instrumentation, to obtain an unbiased census of accreting SMBH up to the redshifts where galaxy formation peaks, and on extremely wide luminosity ranges. This will represent a leap forward comparable to that achieved in the soft X-rays by the Einstein Observatory in the late 70’. In addition to accreting SMBH, and very much like the Einstein Observatory, this mission would also have the capabilities of investigating almost any type of the celestial X-ray sources. HEXITSAT is based on high throughput (>400 cm @ 30 keV; > 1200 cm @ 1 keV), high quality (15 arcsec Half Power Diameter) multi-layer optics, coupled with focal plane detectors with high efficiency in the full 0.5-70keV range. Building on the BeppoSAX experience, a low-Earth, equatorial orbit, will assure a low and stable particle background, and thus an extremely good sensitivity for faint hard X-ray sources. At the flux limits of 1/10 μCrab (10-30 keV) and 1/3 μCrab (20-40 keV) (reachable in one Msec observation) we should detect ∼ 100 and ∼ 40 sources in the 15 arcmin FWHM Field of View respectively, thus resolving > 80% and ∼ 65% of the CXB where its energy density peaks.

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@inproceedings{Fiore2004HEXITSATAM, title={HEXIT-SAT: a mission concept for X-ray grazing incidence telescopes from 0.5 to 70 keV}, author={Fabrizio Fiore and Giuseppe C. Perola and Giovanni Pareschi and Oberto Citterio and Alberto Anselmi and Andrea Comastri}, year={2004} }