A balloon-borne instrument for high-resolution astrophysical spectroscopy in the 20-8000 keV energy range

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Balloon Flight, Data Processing, Field Of View, Gamma Ray Spectrometers, Line Spectra, Microcomputers, Redundancy, Digital Systems, Germanium, Multispectral Linear Arrays, Pressure Vessels, Program Verification (Computers), Spectral Resolution

Scientific paper

The Low Energy Gamma ray Spectrometer (LEGS) is designed to perform fine energy resolution measurements of astrophysical sources. The instrument is configured for a particular balloon flight with either of two sets of high purity germanium detectors. In one configuration, the instrument uses an array of three coaxial detectors (effective volume equal to or approximately 230 cubic cm) inside an NaI (T1) shield and collimator (field of view equal to or approximately 16 deg FWHM) and operates in the 80 to 8000 keV energy range. In the other configuration, three planar detectors (effective area equal to or approximately square cm) surrounded by a combination of passive Fe and active NaI for shielding and collimation (field of view equal to or approximately 5 deg x 10 deg FWHM) are optimized for the 20 to 200 keV energy range. In a typical one day balloon flight, LEGS sensitivity limit (3 sigma) for narrow line features is less than or approximately .0008 ph/cm/s square (coaxial array: 80 to 2000 keV) and less than or approximately .0003 ph/square cm/s (planar array: 50 to 150 keV).

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