Active and passive shielding design optimization and technical solutions for deep sensitivity hard X–ray focusing telescopes
- Malaguti G, G. Pareschi, P. Ferrando
- Proc. SPIE, this vol.,
SIMBOL-X is a hard X-ray mission, operating in the ~ 0.5–70 keV range, which is proposed by a consortium of European laboratories in response to the 2004 call for ideas of CNES for a scientific mission to be flown on a formation flying demonstrator. Relying on two spacecrafts in a formation flying configuration, SIMBOL–X uses for the first time a ~ 30 m focal length X–ray mirror to focus X–rays with energy above 10 keV, resulting in a two orders of magnitude improvement in angular resolution and sensitivity in the hard X-ray range with respect to non focusing techniques. The SIMBOL–X revolutionary instrumental capabilities will allow to elucidate outstanding questions in high energy astrophysics, related in particular to the physics of accretion onto compact objects, to the acceleration of particles to the highest energies, and to the nature of the Cosmic X–Ray background. The mission, which has gone through a thorough assessment study performed by CNES, is expected to start a competitive phase A in autumn 2005, leading to a flight decision at the end of 2006, for a launch in 2012. The mission science objectives, the current status of the instrumentation and mission design, as well as potential trade-offs are presented in this paper.