ABSTRACT: An X-ray/gamma-ray spectrometer has been developed as part of a rendezvous mission with the near-Earth asteroid, 433 Eros, in an effort to answer fundamental questions about the nature and origin of asteroids and comets. During about 10 months of orbital operations commencing in early 1999, the X-ray/Gamma-ray Spectrometer will develop global maps of the elemental composition of the surface of Eros. The instrument remotely senses characteristic X-ray and gamma-ray emissions to determine composition. Solar excited X-ray fluorescence in the 1 to 10 keV range will be used to measure the surface abundances of Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, and Fe with spatial resolutions down to 2 km. Gamma-ray emissions in the 0.1 to 10 MeV range will be used to measure cosmic-ray excited elements O, Si, Fe, H and naturally radioactive elements K, Th, U to surface depths on the order of 10 cm. The X-ray spectrometer consists of three gas-filled proportional counters with a collimated field of view of 5 and an energy resolution of 850 eV @ 5.9 keV. Two sunward looking X-ray detectors monitor the incident solar flux, one of which is the first flight of a new, miniature solid-state detector which achieves 600 eV resolution @ 5.9 keV. The gamma-ray spectrometer consists of a NaI(Tl) scintillator situated within a Bismuth Germanate (BGO) cup, which provides both active and passive shielding to confine the field of view and eliminate the need for a massive and costly boom. New coincidence techniques enable recovery of single and double escape events in the central detector. The NaI(Tl) and BGO detectors achieve energy resolutions of 8.7% and 14%, respectively @ 0.662 MeV. A data processing unit based on an RTX2010 microprocessor provides the spacecraft interface and produces 256-channel spectra for X-ray detectors and 1024-channel spectra for the raw, coincident, and anti-coincident gamma-ray modes. This paper presents a detailed overview of the X-ray/Gamma-ray Spectrometer and describes the science objectives, measurement objectives, instrument design, and shows some results from early in-flight data.
Space Science Reviews 09/1997; 82(1):169-216. · 3.61 Impact Factor