The design, implementation, and performance of the Atro-H SXS calorimeter array and anti-coincidence detector

Caroline A. Kilbourne, Joseph S. Adams, Regis P. Brekosky, James A. Chervenak, Meng P. Chiao, Megan E. Eckart, Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano, Massimiliano Galeazzi, Christoph Grein, Christine A. Jhabvala, Richard L. Kelley, Daniel P. Kelly, Maurice A. Leutenegger, Dan McCammon, F. Scott Porter, Andrew E. Szymkowiak, Tomomi Watanabe, Jun Zhao

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

27 Scopus citations


The calorimeter array of the JAXA Astro-H (renamed Hitomi) Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS) was designed to provide unprecedented spectral resolution of spatially extended cosmic x-ray sources and of all cosmic x-ray sources in the Fe-K band around 6 keV, enabling essential plasma diagnostics. The SXS has a square array of 36 microcalorimeters at the focal plane. These calorimeters consist of ion-implanted silicon thermistors and HgTe thermalizing x-ray absorbers. These devices have demonstrated a resolution of better than 4.5 eV at 6 keV when operated at a heat-sink temperature of 50 mK. We will discuss the basic physical parameters of this array, including the array layout, thermal conductance of the link to the heat sink, resistance function, absorber details, and means of attaching the absorber to the thermistorbearing element. We will also present the thermal characterization of the whole array, including thermal conductance and crosstalk measurements and the results of pulsing the frame temperature via alpha particles, heat pulses, and the environmental background. A silicon ionization detector is located behind the calorimeter array and serves to reject events due to cosmic rays. We will briefly describe this anti-coincidence detector and its performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016
Subtitle of host publicationUltraviolet to Gamma Ray
EditorsMarshall Bautz, Tadayuki Takahashi, Jan-Willem A. den Herder
ISBN (Electronic)9781510601895
StatePublished - 2016
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jul 1 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Astro-H
  • Hitomi
  • SXS
  • anticoincidence detector
  • microcalorimeter
  • x-ray calorimeter
  • x-ray spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'The design, implementation, and performance of the Atro-H SXS calorimeter array and anti-coincidence detector'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this