STROBE-X: A probe-class mission for X-ray spectroscopy and timing on timescales from microseconds to years

Paul S. Ray, Zaven Arzoumanian, Søren Brandt, Eric Burns, Deepto Chakrabarty, Marco Feroci, Keith C. Gendreau, Olivier Gevin, Margarita Hernanz, Peter Jenke, Steven Kenyon, José Luis Gálvez Thomas J. Maccarone, Takashi Okajima, Ronald A. Remillard, Stéphane Schanne, Chris Tenzer, Andrea Vacchi, Colleen A. Wilson-Hodge, Berend Winter, Silvia ZaneDavid R. Ballantyne, Enrico Bozzo, Laura W. Brenneman, Edward Cackett, Alessandra De Rosa, Adam Goldstein, Dieter H. Hartmann, Michael McDonald, Abigail L. Stevens, John A. Tomsick, Anna L. Watts, Kent S. Wood, Abderahmen Zoghbi

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    We describe the Spectroscopic Time-Resolving Observatory for Broadband Energy X-rays (STROBE-X), a probe-class mission concept that will provide an unprecedented view of the X-ray sky, performing timing and spectroscopy over both a broad energy band (0.2-30 keV) and a wide range of timescales from microseconds to years. STROBE-X comprises two narrow-field instruments and a wide field monitor. The soft or low-energy band (0.2-12 keV) is covered by an array of lightweight optics (3-m focal length) that concentrate incident photons onto small solid-state detectors with CCD-level (85-175 eV) energy resolution, 100 ns time resolution, and low background rates. This technology has been fully developed for NICER and will be scaled up to take advantage of the longer focal length of STROBE-X. The higher-energy band (2-30 keV) is covered by large-area, collimated silicon drift detectors that were developed for the European LOFT mission concept. Each instrument will provide an order of magnitude improvement in effective area over its predecessor (NICER in the soft band and RXTE in the hard band). Finally, STROBE-X offers a sensitive wide-field monitor (WFM), both to act as a trigger for pointed observations of X-ray transients and also to provide high duty-cycle, high time-resolution, and high spectral-resolution monitoring of the variable X-ray sky. The WFM will boast approximately 20 times the sensitivity of the RXTE All-Sky Monitor, enabling multi-wavelength and multi-messenger investigations with a large instantaneous field of view. This mission concept will be presented to the 2020 Decadal Survey for consideration.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
    EditorsJan-Willem A. den Herder, Shouleh Nikzad, Kazuhiro Nakazawa
    Number of pages20
    PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
    Publication date2018
    Article number1069919
    ISBN (Print)9781510619517
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    EventSPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray - Austin, United States
    Duration: 10 Jun 201815 Jun 2018


    ConferenceSPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    Sponsor4D Technology Corporation, Andor Technology, Ltd., Astronomical Consultants and Equipment, Inc., Giant Magellan Telescope, SPIE


    • X-ray
    • STROBE-X
    • Silicon drift detectors
    • Neutron stars
    • Black holes
    • Collimators


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