Lynx X-ray microcalorimeter

Simon R. Bandler*, James A. Chervenak, Aaron M. Datesman, Archana M. Devasia, Michael Dipirro, Kazuhiro Sakai, Stephen J. Smith, Thomas R. Stevenson, Wonsik Yoon, Douglas Bennett, Benjamin Mates, Daniel Swetz, Joel N. Ullom, Kent D. Irwin, Megan E. Eckart, Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano, Dan Mccammon, Kevin Ryu, Jeffrey Olson, Ben Zeiger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Lynx is an X-ray telescope, one of four large satellite mission concepts currently being studied by NASA to be a flagship mission. One of Lynx's three instruments is an imaging spectrometer called the Lynx X-ray microcalorimeter (LXM), an X-ray microcalorimeter behind an X-ray optic with an angular resolution of 0.5 arc sec and â1/42 m2 of area at 1 keV. The LXM will provide unparalleled diagnostics of distant extended structures and, in particular, will allow the detailed study of the role of cosmic feedback in the evolution of the Universe. We discuss the baseline design of LXM and some parallel approaches for some of the key technologies. The baseline sensor technology uses transition-edge sensors, but we also consider an alternative approach using metallic magnetic calorimeters. We discuss the requirements for the instrument, the pixel layout, and the baseline readout design, which uses microwave superconducting quantum interference devices and high-electron mobility transistor amplifiers and the cryogenic cooling requirements and strategy for meeting these requirements. For each of these technologies, we discuss the current technology readiness level and our strategy for advancing them to be ready for flight. We also describe the current system design, including the block diagram, and our estimate for the mass, power, and data rate of the instrument.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021017
JournalJournal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • Lynx
  • X-ray
  • cryogenics
  • microcalorimeters
  • telescope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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