Follow-on Science Instrument

Contract NAS8-01129


Monthly Status Report No. 009

November 2002

X-ray Grating Evaluation Facility (X-GEF): Status

Prepared in accordance with DR 972MA-002; DPD #972

Prepared for

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama 35812


Center for Space Research; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Cambridge, MA 02139


1.0 Distribution List for Monthly Status Report



MIT-External Electronic:

FD03/Mike Smith, MSFC                   Carl.M.Smith@msfc.nasa.gov

PS41/Steve Morris, MSFC                 Steven.D.Morris@msfc.nasa.gov

--/Martin Weisskopf, MSFC               martin.weisskopf@msfc.nasa.gov


MIT-External Hardcopy:

                                    None specified.



            MIT-Internal Electronic:

                                                Deborah Gage             dgage@space.mit.edu

                                                Gail Monahan              gmonahan@mit.edu


MIT-Internal Hardcopy:

                                                Claude Canizares         Room 3-234 (via Gail Monahan)

                                                Deepto Chakrabarty     Room 37-501 (via Deborah Gage)

                                                Kathryn Flanagan        Room NE80-6103 (via Deborah Gage)







Please send distribution requests and other comments on this document to dd@mit.edu .


2.0 Schedule of Past and Future Events Relevant to HETG




Past Events


Nov. 3-8

Galactic Center Workshop 2002, Kailua-Kona HI

(S. Markoff)

Nov. 4-5

First US XMM-Newton SAS Workshop, Goddard

A. Juett

Nov. 6,7

Chandra Calibration Workshop at CXC, Cambridge MA

D.Dewey support

Nov. 14,15

X-ray Binaries in the Chandra and XMM-Newton Era, Camb. MA

A. Juett; M.Jimenez-Garate

Dec. 3

Chandra Quarterly Review

HETG attend




Future Events


Dec. 5-8

SIRTF Observation Planning Workshop

S. Gallagher attend

Dec. 9-13

XXI "Texas" Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics , Florence, Italy

J.Lee, AGN

Dec. 13

Chandra AO-5 out


Jan. 5-9

American Astronomical Society 201st Meeting , Seattle, WA

S. Gallagher, NGC 5506;

A. Fredericks, E0102;

M. Jimenez-Garate;

R. Gibson, MR2251;

Mar. 14

Chandra Cycle 5 GO proposals due

(GTO due earlier)

Mar. 23-26

HEAD meeting, Mt. Tremblant, Canada


May 4-7

Constellation X Spectroscopy Workshop, Columbia Univ., NY


July ‘03

IAU, Sydney, Australia:

Symp.218, "Young Neutron Stars and Their Environment";

JD17: “Discussion on Atomic Data for X-Ray Astronomy”;

JD18: “Quasar Cores and Jets”; JD20 “Frontiers of High Resolution Spectroscopy”



Four Years with Chandra, MSFC Hunsville

Details coming…



3.0 Instrument Status and Science Support



3.1 Flight Events and HETG Instrument Status


The HETG continues to function with no outstanding issues. There were 2 GO targets and two calibration observations of PKS2155-304 observed by the HETG in November 2002.


3.2 Science Support to CXC, SWG, etc.


HETG personnel participated in the Chandra Calibration Workshop in early November; there are no major HETG calibration issues but many calibration parameters which can be improved by small (e.g., 5%) but scientifically-useful amounts, for example:

MEG/HEG efficiencies - small correction to MEG in 1-2 keV.

MEG/HEG periods - slight tweak so that MEG and HEG agree precisely in wavelength.

ACIS-S chip gaps - less than 0.5 pixel adjustments could be made.

ACIS S1 gain and OSIP files - for improved order sorting on the BI chip S1.

ACIS QE, QEU, and cosmic ray dead time effects on FI/BI QE - improve ACIS QE calibration and do cross-calibration with XMM for absolute effective area.

HRMA “Ir bump” - small feature around 2 keV.


4.0 GTO Science Program


There is no update on the GTO Science Program this month because of the Quarterly, Nov and Dec holidays, X-GEF update, and the editor’s (dd) work on a paper, “Extended Source Analysis for Grating Spectrometers” -- available on the web at http://space.mit.edu/HETG/MEM/dewey_d.pdf for those who want some science!



5.0 Systems and Engineering Support


5.1 Documentation and “Design Knowledge Capture” and 5.3 Anomalies, Insert/retract, etc. Support


No work in these areas this period.


5.2 Spares Retest and Test Instrumentation


We are monitoring properties of gratings stored in vacuum on the ground: primarily the diffraction efficiency as measured with the X-ray Grating Evalutaion Facility, X-GEF, at MIT. The timeline below shows dates of retesting to date; the last detailed report on the vacuum storage re-testing is at: http://space.mit.edu/HETG/vsg/vsg.html .

Successful test runs of X-GEF were carried out in October. Analysis of these qualification runs show the complete system (see next two pages) is working and give results in accord with testing back in 12/2002. Before full retesting we need to clean the source anodes and adjust the detector high voltages. In addition, new cables were ordered for the PSPC detector due to some intermittent operation.

Our plan is to run qualification tests and then re-tests in the Dec.-Jan.’03 time frame.


X-rays from the source, at right, are collimated by a slit and pass through the grating under test and are detected by a Position Sensitive Proportional Counter (PSPC) or a Solid State Detector (SSD), at left.

Complexity of the X-GEF system comes from the full computer control which allows unattended “over-night” testing of a pair of gratings. Note that most hardware was purchased in 1993-1994.

6.0 Management

6.1 Program Office & NASA Support


Prepared material for the Quaterly Review on 12/3. Received RFP from SAO for ’05-and-beyond funding.


6.2 MIT-internal management activities


Advertised HETG Post-Doc position starting next Spetember:




7.0 Open Issues, Problems, etc.


There are no known critical open issues or problems regarding the HETG.