The nuclear spectroscopic telescope array (NuSTAR) high-energy X-ray mission

Kristin K. Madsen, Fiona A. Harrison, Hongjun An, Steven E. Boggs, Finn E. Christensen, Rick Cook, William W. Craig, Karl Forster, Felix Fuerst, Brian Grefenstette, Charles J. Hailey, Takao Kitaguchi, Craig Markwardt, Peter Mao, Hiromasa Miyasaka, Vikram Rana, Daniel K. Stern, William W. Zhang, Andreas Zoglauer, Dominic WaltonNiels J. Westergaard

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The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission was launched on 2012 June 13 and is the first focusing high-energy X-ray telescope in orbit operating above ~10 keV. NuSTAR flies two co-aligned Wolter-I conical approximation X-ray optics, coated with Pt/C and W/Si multilayers, and combined with a focal length of 10.14 meters this enables operation from 3-79 keV. The optics focus onto two focal plane arrays, each consisting of 4 CdZnTe pixel detectors, for a field of view of 12.5 arcminutes. The inherently low background associated with concentrating the X-ray light enables NuSTAR to probe the hard X-ray sky with a more than 100-fold improvement in sensitivity, and with an effective point spread function FWHM of 18 arcseconds (HPD ~1), NuSTAR provides a leap of improvement in resolution over the collimated or coded mask instruments that have operated in this bandpass. We present in-orbit performance details of the observatory and highlight important science results from the first two years of the mission
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray : Conference volume 9144
EditorsTadayuki Takahashi, Jan-Willem A. den Herder, Mark Bautz
Number of pages11
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2014
Article number91441P
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray - Palais des congrès de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
Duration: 22 Jun 201426 Jun 2014
Conference number: 9144


ConferenceSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014
LocationPalais des congrès de Montréal
SeriesS P I E - International Society for Optical Engineering. Proceedings

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Copyright 2015 Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic electronic or print reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • NuSTAR
  • X-ray optics
  • CZT


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