16 - 21 June 2024
Yokohama, Japan
Conference 13093 > Paper 13093-91
Paper 13093-91

BlackCAT: an upcoming soft X-ray coded aperture telescope on a 6U CubeSat

18 June 2024 • 13:40 - 14:00 Japan Standard Time | Room G414/415, North - 4F

Abstract

The BlackCAT CubeSat is an X-ray coded-aperture-telescope observatory that is expected to launch in 2025. It is designed for observations of bright X-ray sources in the 0.5–20 keV band. The instrument will have a wide field of view (0.85 steradian) and be capable of catching gamma ray bursts (GRBs) from the distant universe, galactic transients, and flares from blazars, while monitoring the X-ray sky. In addition to the primary high-redshift GRB science, BlackCAT can monitor known source variability and search for rare and exciting events including gravitational-wave X-ray counterparts, magnetar flares, supernova shock breakouts, and tidal disruption events. The mission will thus function as a multiwavelength and multi-messenger complement to present and future facilities including LIGO, VIRGO, KAGRA, IceCube, KM3NET, LSST, LOFAR, SKA, and CTA. Rapid notifications of burst positions will be transmitted to the ground via satellite network and then relayed to the GCN. The name BlackCAT is derived from its scientific emphasis on black-holerelated transient events being observed with a coded aperture telescope (CAT). BlackCAT will serve as the scientific payload aboard a commercial 6U CubeSat spacecraft provided by NanoAvionics US. Novel event-driven X-ray hybrid CMOS detectors will form the focal plane array. In addition to carrying out science programs related to distant GRBs, transients, and X-ray sky monitoring, BlackCAT will also serve as a pathfinder for future economical missions combining multiple BlackCAT modules on either a single small satellite or on multiple CubeSats. BlackCAT will also serve as a platform for new X-ray hybrid CMOS detector development. An overview of BlackCAT in its current development state and its current status will be presented.

Presenter

The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Abraham D. Falcone is an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the Pennsylvania State University. He leads research in fields ranging from X-ray and gamma-ray instrumentation to high-energy astrophysics of active galactic nuclei and gamma-ray bursts. He has authored more than 200 refereed publications. He is the PI of BlackCAT, and he is a member of the Swift team that was awarded the Bruno Rossi Prize in 2007, as well as a VERITAS collaboration member and a collaborator on multiple future X-ray mission development efforts including Arcus, AXIS, Gamow, and Lynx.
Application tracks: Astrophotonics
Presenter/Author
The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
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The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
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David M. Palmer
Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
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Lukas R. Stone
The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
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The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
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Michael E. Zugger
The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)