The Modular X- and Gamma-ray Sensor (MXGS) is an imaging and spectral X- and Gamma-ray instrument mounted on the starboard side of the Columbus module on the International Space Station. Together with the Modular Multi-Spectral Imaging Assembly (MMIA) (Chanrion et al. this issue) MXGS constitutes the instruments of the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) (Neubert et al. this issue). The main objectives of MXGS are to image and measure the spectrum of X- and γ-rays from lightning discharges, known as Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs), and for MMIA to image and perform high speed photometry of Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) and lightning discharges. With these two instruments specifically designed to explore the relation between electrical discharges, TLEs and TGFs, ASIM is the first mission of its kind. With an imaging system and a large detector area MXGS will, for the first time, allow estimation of the location of the source region and characterization of the energy spectrum of individual events. The sensors have fast readout electronics to minimize pileup effects, giving high time resolution of photon detection for comparison with measurements on μs-time scales of lightning processes measured by the MMIA and other sensors in space or on the ground. The detectors cover the large energy range of the relevant photon energies. In this paper we describe the scientific objectives, design, performance, imaging capabilities and operational modes of the MXGS instrument.
© The Author(s) 2019
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- X- and Gamma-ray detector for space
- International Space Station
- Atmosphere-Space Interaction Monitor
- Modular Multi-Spectral Imaging Assembly
- Modular X- and Gamma-ray Sensor
- Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes