11-15 February 2013
Vienna University of Technology
Europe/Vienna timezone

The Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) on-board Solar Orbiter

12 Feb 2013, 14:00
Vienna University of Technology

Vienna University of Technology

Gußhausstraße 25-29, 1040 Wien (Vienna), Austria


Oliver Grimm (ETH Zurich)


Solar Orbiter is a sun-observing mission of the European Space Agency, addressing the interaction between the sun and the heliosphere (launch is scheduled for 2017). The satellite will carry ten instruments, and will approach the sun to 0.28 astronomical units, allowing unprecedented high-resolution measurements. The X-ray imaging spectrometer on-board Solar Orbiter is called STIX (Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays). This report will give a brief overview of its scientific goal and cover in more detail the instrument design and challenges. STIX will determine the intensity, spectrum, timing, and location of thermal and accelerated electrons near the Sun through their Bremsstrahlung X-ray emission. STIX uses indirect Fourier imaging. The sun is observed through pairs of fine grids, separated by 55 cm. The grids of one pair are slightly different in pitch and rotation angle and cast a Moire pattern on the detectors underneath. Count rates of X-rays passing the grids as function of energy are determined with CdTe semiconductor sensors. Each sensor is pixelized to sample the Moire pattern and to cover of an extended dynamic range in count rates. The sensors are bonded to front-end amplifier units and thermally coupled to a space-craft cold finger to operate below -20 deg Celsius in the +50 deg Celsius environment. The instrument data processing unit allows autonomous operation over extended periods of time (up to 80 days) and provides the space-craft interfaces.
quote your primary experiment STIX

Primary author

Oliver Grimm (ETH Zurich)

Presentation Materials