Applications of gas imaging micro-well detectors to an advanced Compton telescope


We present a concept for an Advanced Compton Telescope (ACT) based on the use of pixelized gas micro-well detectors to form a three-dimensional electron track imager. A micro-well detector consists of an array of individual micro-patterned proportional counters opposite a planar drift electrode. When combined with thin film transistor array readouts, large gas volumes may be imaged with very good spatial and energy resolution at reasonable cost. The third dimension is determined from the drift time of the ionization electrons. The primary advantage of this approach is the excellent tracking of the Compton recoil electron that is possible in a gas volume. Such good electron tracking allows us to reduce the point spread function of a single incident photon dramatically, greatly improving the imaging capability and sensitivity. The polarization sensitivity, which relies on events with large Compton scattering angles, is particularly enhanced. We describe a possible ACT implementation of this technique, in which the gas tracking volume is surrounded by a CsI calorimeter, and present our plans to build and test a small prototype over the next three years.

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New Astronomy Reviews



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