CATSAT - a very low cost burst distance measuring mission


CATSAT is a small, fast and cheap space mission currently funded for Phase A studies under the Student Explorer Demonstration Initiative (STEDI) by University Space Research Association. Its prime scientific objective is to determine burst distances by measuring their spectra at energies from < 500 eV to several MeV. Soft X-ray spectral measurements will be made with 2 cm2 Si Avalanche Photodiodes (APD). The spectrometer will consist of seven collimated arrays, each containing 14 APDs and covering ∼ 1 steradians. CATSAT also contains three other context instruments. The Directional Gamma Spectrometer is a NaI-PMT array which will provide burst triggering as well as spectra and directional information from > 200 keV observations. The Hard X-Ray spectrometer consists of CaF2(Eu)-PMT detectors which are optimized in the cyclotron absorption energy band. The X-ray Albedo Polarimeter consists of nine collimated NaI-PMT detectors observing the earth reflected emission. Results from the XAP will be used to determine the burst direction and to place constraints on X-ray polarization. CATSAT was designed at three universities to be built with student help in two years for a cost of $3.5M.



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Astrophysics and Space Science



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