CLAIRE – towards the first light for a gamma-ray lens

Year: 2000

Authors: Laporte P., Abrosimov N., Bastie P., Cordier B., Di Cocco G., Evrard J., Gizzi LA., Hamelin B., Jean P., Laurent P., Paltani P., Skinner GK., Smither RK., von Ballmoos P.

Autors Affiliation: Ctr Etud Spatiale Rayonnements, F-31400 Toulouse, France;
Univ Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, W Midlands England;
Inst Kristallzchtung, Berlin, Germany;
CEA Saclay, SAp, F-91191 Gif Sur Yvette, France;
TESRE, I-40129 Bologna, Italy;
CNES, F-31041 Toulouse, France;
Inst Max Von Laue Paul Langevin, F-38042 Grenoble, France;
ISDC, CH-1290 Versoix, Switzerland;
Argonne Natl Lab, Argonne, IL 60439 USA

Abstract: The CLAIRE collaboration is presently preparing the first astronomical observation of a gamma-ray lens. In June 2000, the instrument is to be flown on a stratospheric balloon by the French Space Agency CNES. CLAIRE features a Laue diffraction lens, a detector module with a 3 x 3 germanium array, and a balloon gondola stabilized to 15 \” pointing accuracy. The instruments lens focuses gamma-ray photons from its 526 cm(2) area onto a small solid-state detector, with only 18 cm(3) equivalent volume for background noise. Hence, for the first time in gamma-ray astronomy, the statistics will be dominated by the signal. Besides its excellent sensitivity, the telescope has outstanding angular and spectral resolution. The primary objective for the first balloon flight of CLAIRE is to detect the Crab nebula and measure its extend at 170 keV with an angular resolution of about I arcmin. Scientific objectives for further flights include collapsed objects, SNRs, and broad class annihilators. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.


Volume: 442 (1-3)      Pages from: 438  to: 442

KeyWords: instrumentation for nuclear astrophysics; crystal diffraction;
DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9002(99)01270-X

Citations: 12
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