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Next: Archive contents Up: The ASCA Data Archive Previous: The ASCA Data Archive

Background to ASCA

The ASCA satellite carried four large-area telescopes, each with a different, fixed instrument at its focus. All four telescopes consisted of multiple-nested, thin foil conical mirrors, and provided a spatial resolution of 1.5 arcminutes at the focal plane. These mirrors were able to focus X-ray photons with energies in the range 0.1 - 10 KeV.

At the foci of two of the telescopes were two Solid-state Imaging Spectrometers (SIS). The SIS cameras were made up of arrays of CCDs, and were the first X-ray CCD spectrometers in orbit. These detectors were sensitive to X-ray photons in the 0.4-10 keV range, and had a 22 × 22 arcminute operational field-of-view.

At the foci of the second pair of telescopes were two Gas Imaging Spectrometers (GIS). Each GIS is a gas imaging scintillation proportional counter, based upon the GSPC that flew on the second Japanese X-ray astronomy mission, TENMA. The GIS instruments are sensitive in the 0.8 - 10.0 keV energy range, but are especially useful above the Xenon L edge (at ~5 keV) where their efficiency is greater than that of the SIS detectors. Each GIS has a circular field-of-view of radius 25 arcminutes.



 
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