alexa The Nuclear Compton Telescope (NCT): Scientific goals and expected sensitivity


Journal of Astrophysics & Aerospace Technology

Author(s): HsiangKuang Chang, Steven Boggs, YuanHann Chang

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The Nuclear Compton Telescope (NCT) is a balloon-borne telescope designed to study astrophysical sources of gamma-ray emission with high spectral resolution, moderate angular resolution, and novel sensitivity to gamma-ray polarization. The heart of NCT is an array of cross-strip germanium detectors, each of 15-mm thickness and 5400mm 2 active area, with full 3D position resolution <2 mm 3 . NCT will perform Compton imaging in the 0.2–10 MeV gamma-ray band. We are currently planning a 12-detector long dura- tion balloon flight of the NCT instrument from Australia in December 2008. NCT is the prototype of a future satellite mission, which will have a coded mask on top of a larger detector array to carry out imaging in the 20–100 keV X-ray band. This paper describes the sci- entific goals, as well as the detector design, simulated performance and current status of the project. NCT is a joint effort of several insti- tutions in the US and in Taiwan.

This article was published in Advances in Space Research and referenced in Journal of Astrophysics & Aerospace Technology

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