Progress on the Micro-X sounding rocket X-ray telescope: Completion of flight hardware

P. Wikus*, J. S. Adams, R. Baker, S. R. Bandler, W. Brys, D. Dewey, W. B. Doriese, M. E. Eckart, E. Figueroa-Feliciano, R. Goeke, R. Hamersma, G. C. Hilton, U. Hwang, K. D. Irwin, R. L. Kelley, C. A. Kilbourne, S. W. Leman, D. McCammon, T. Okajima, R. H. O'NealF. S. Porter, C. D. Reintsema, J. M. Rutherford, P. Serlemitsos, T. Saab, K. Sato, Y. Soong, S. N. Trowbridge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


Micro-X is a rocket-borne X-ray telescope which will use an array of Transition Edge Sensor (TES) microcalorimeters to obtain high resolution soft X-ray spectra of extended astronomical sources. The microcalorimeter array consists of 128 pixels with a size of 590 μm × 590 μm each. The TESs are read out with a time-division Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) multiplexing system. The instrument's front end assembly, which contains the microcalorimeter array and two SQUID amplification stages, is located at the focal point of a conically approximated Wolter mirror with a focal length of 2100 mm and a point spread function of 2.4 arcmin half-power diameter. The telescope's effective area amounts to ∼ 300 cm2 at 1 keV. The TES array is cooled with an Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator. The first flight of Micro-X is scheduled for 2011, and will likely target a Si knot in the Puppis A supernova remnant. The time available for the observation above an altitude of 160 km will be in excess of 300 seconds. The design, manufacturing and assembly of the flight hardware has recently been completed, and system testing is underway. We describe the final design of the Micro-X instrument, and report on the overall status of the project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010
Subtitle of host publicationUltraviolet to Gamma Ray
StatePublished - 2010
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 28 2010Jul 2 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Microcalorimeter
  • Puppis A
  • Sounding Rocket
  • Supernova Remnants
  • Transition Edge Sensor (TES)
  • X-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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