A balloon-borne coded aperture telescope for low-energy gamma-ray astronomy


A telescope for imaging cosmic γ-ray emission over the energy range 160 keV to 9.3 MeV has been developed and successfully flown on a high altitude balloon over Palestine, Texas on 1 October, 1984. This instrument consists of a coded mask based on a 5 × 7 uniformly redundant array (URA) and a scintillator array consisting of 35 bismuth germanate (BGO) detectors. The telescope can image sources with an intrinsic resolution of 3.8° within a 15.2° × 22.8° field of view. The properties of the instrument are described and its imaging capability is demonstrated with results from an observation of the region of the Crab Nebula. The imaging response to the Crab was found to be well represented by a bivariate Gaussian function of full width at half-maximum (FWHM) 4.8°. The centroid of the response was determined to a precision of ± 12 arc min.

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Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment



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